Activation in Long-Term Care

This project evaluates the activation programme in the Genossenschaft Alterszentrum Kreuzlingen using a participatory approach. Based on this, recommendations will be made to develop a more needs-based activation offer for the residents.


  • Lead school School of Health Professions
  • Institute Nursing
  • Research unit Field of Innovation – Psychosocial Health
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2022
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Eva Soom Ammann
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Eva Soom Ammann
  • Project staff Sabrina Gröble
    Prof. Dr. Eva Soom Ammann
  • Partner Genossenschaft Alterszentrum Kreuzl
  • Keywords ageing, quality of life, activation therapy, activating daily routines, service evaluation, quality improvement


In Switzerland, about 15% of people over 80 years of age live in long-term care institutions. To increase the quality of life and the well-being of their residents, many institutions offer activation therapy and/or activating daily routines. With the help of targeted activities, activation therapy supports, maintains, and promotes the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social abilities of residents in a resource-oriented manner. These interventions are planned over a longer period by activation therapists, continuously carried out, reflected, and evaluated. Activating daily routines, in contrast, are offered spontaneously in the daily routine and include for example basic everyday activities, rituals, or cultural events. The Genossenschaft Alterszentrum Kreuzlingen (GAZK) offers a wide range of activation activities for their residents. However, the RESPONS study of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, which investigated the quality of life and care in Swiss nursing homes, revealed that the activation offer does not yet meet the needs of the residents. Experience has also shown that, despite ongoing improvements, existing activation offers are sometimes only sparsely used. The activation offer of the GAZK will therefore be evaluated in this project using a participatory approach and recommendations to develop the offer will be elaborated.

Course of action

In this project, ethnographic research methods inspired by rapid ethnography are used to gain a brief, comprehensive, and differentiated insight into the current practice of activation at the GAZK, the needs of the residents, the views and support options of the staff, and the expectations of relatives regarding activation offers. The data is collected exploratively and systematically by means of participant observation, ethnographic conversations integrated into everyday life of the residents, and document analyses. With this approach, we aim to involve residents in the evaluation process who cannot or do not want to participate in conventional oral or written surveys for the evaluation of services. The analysis is carried out iteratively and in continuous exchange with the residents and staff of the GAZK.


Within this project, recommendations will be elaborated which can be used by the GAZK to adapt the activation offer as well as the tasks and activities of the staff (activation therapists, nursing staff at all levels), and furthermore to promote a stronger and more systematic involvement of residents and their relatives in the conceptualization of the activation offer and the subsequent implementation of the activities.

Looking ahead

The research procedures of the project Activation in Long-Term Care and its results will be disseminated and published in the sense of a documentation of good practice to use participatory methods in quality improvement projects.