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Issues » 2013/1 - Deinstitucionalisation of Social Services »

Hana Janečková, Renáta Nentvichová Novotná

The Role of Family Relations in Institutional Care for Seniors


The article concerns the meaning of the family relations for the seniors living in institutions. The emotional attachement during the early childhood is the base of the relations between parents and children in later life, including practical care provision in the period of the person’s dependence on others. While informal giving care by children to their parents was studied enough, the relations of children and parents living in institutions are missed and underestimated in practice. Transition of seniors from homes to institutions represents one of the most important and most critical life events, connected with the basic existentional questions both on the side of parents and children. It is also a challenge for the personnel of the institutions, who are not regularly trained for their role to accompany the families at this important life situation. The new role of institutions in the area of care for elderly is mentioned with regard to the demograpic development. Preservation and support of the family relations of seniors in the institutions plays the most important role in the quality of their lives, in the satisfaction with the care, and is an important step in the way to the improvement and humanization of institutional care.


caring family, labour of love, emotional relationship, quality of life, home for elderly, family visits, shared care

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