Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Nursing




School of Nursing and Health Sciences


The prevalence of vision loss in the elderly is high. Visual impairment in long-term care (LTC) settings may be a barrier to fully interacting in therapeutic recreational and social activities. Living with visual barriers may hamper safety (i.e., fear of falling and navigating in unfamiliar settings); cognitive ability; and participation in activities leading to isolation, depression, and loss of self-esteem. Decreased stimulation may affect one’s overall happiness and quality of life. A qualitative phenomenological design was followed to capture the lived experience of older adults with visual impairments living in LTC settings and their integration into social and recreational activities in the LTC setting. Seventeen participants (12 women, 5 men) aged 69 to 100, were recruited through purposive sampling. Interviews were conducted from May 2021 through July 2021 by telephone and/or in person. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and aggregated, which assured trustworthiness in the data analysis. NVivo 12® software was used to organize and code the data. The six-step approach of van Manen was followed through data collection and analysis. Five essential themes with sub-themes were identified: (1) Life Interrupted; (2) The Impact of Vision Loss; (3) Adaptation to the New Normal; (4) Embracing Relationships; and (5) Transcendence into the Future. This study resulted in a greater understanding of the lived experience of older adults with a visual impairment and their integration into social and recreational activities in a LTC facility. The participants conveyed the challenges they experienced from the time of diagnosis to the present and how they adapted to remain engaged in social and recreational activities.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Nursing Commons