Home after stroke: A qualitative study of Dutch older stroke survivors making themselves at home again

Louise Meijering, Mirjam Klaassens, Christa Nanninga, Ant T. Lettinga

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

5 Citations (Scopus)


Older adults who have survived a stroke may suffer from physical effects such as paralysis, fatigue, and pain, as well as cognitive/emotional effects such as loss of cognitive function, aphasia, depression, and memory loss. After experiencing a stroke, most survivors work on their recovery in a rehabilitation clinic, with the aim of returning to their own home. However, since full physical, cognitive and emotional recovery is often not feasible, they face the challenge of coming to terms with the lasting effects of the stroke and of giving meaning to their homes again. In this paper, we consider the home as part of identity, and consisting of: 1) the physical building of the house, the rooms in it, and its immediate outside environment; 2) the objects used to furnish and decorate the house; and 3) the people living in and visiting the house.
Based on in-depth interviews with stroke survivors aged 65 years and older, we discuss how they renegotiate their homes after discharge from the rehabilitation clinic. Our preliminary findings describe how, for many participants, a formerly comfortable home becomes a space of struggle: a formerly favourite place in the home, such as the garden, may become inaccessible. Formerly reciprocal relationships with significant others such as a spouse may change into unbalanced dependence. Stroke survivors struggle to accommodate their changed bodies and minds in an unchanged house, which does not feel like home anymore.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10-Apr-2014
EventInternational Conference on Cultural Gerontology - National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 10-Apr-201412-Apr-2014


ConferenceInternational Conference on Cultural Gerontology


  • home-making
  • home
  • identity
  • stroke
  • Netherlands
  • qualitative research

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