Background and objectives: Knowledge about residents' perception of what contributes to well-being and thriving in nursing homes is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate mentally lucid residents' perspective on what contributes to thriving in a nursing home.
Design: A qualitative study with a descriptive-exploratory design.
Settings: Two nursing homes in Norway.
Participants: 26 mentally lucid nursing home residents.
Methods: Data collection comprised participant observation and open-ended interviews.
Results: Two core aspects contributing to thriving were identified: The residents' attitude towards living in a nursing home and the quality of care and caregivers. The residents' attitude was the innermost core aspect. Five additional aspects contributing to thriving were identified: Positive peer relationships, participation in meaningful activities, opportunities to go outside the ward or nursing home, positive relationships with family, and qualities in the physical environment.
Conclusion: Several factors contribute to an experience of thriving. The findings challenge the 'traditional' passive role of residents by documenting their active contributions to their level of thriving in a nursing home.