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Identity troubles as elder mistreatment?
Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ, Institute of Gerontology. Jönköping University, School of Health Science, HHJ. Ageing - living conditions and health.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The person-centered care approach has gained increasing attention during the last years. Yet, little is known about different aspects of the construction of personhood and identity in concrete situations in elder care. Is the identity of an older person seen as changeable or stable by staff and family members? In this study I explore identity and elder mistreatment from the family members’ view, by using data from 21 in-depth interviews with relatives of care recipients. The specific aims are: 1) to explore the normative grounds (warrants) family members use in their arguments about mistreatment; and 2) to discuss how warrants can be used to gain understanding about conflicts between staff’s and family’s opinions of caring arrangements.

The analysis revealed that family members continually positioned themselves as guardians of identity through their claims of mistreatment. Several claims about mistreatment were grounded in the opinion that the older person’s identity should be maintained while he or she receives formal care. For instance, one woman described her husband as an intellectual, who had studied Russian at the university after he retired. The woman claimed that her husband was victim for elder mistreatment, because the staff only offered him to play Bingo, which was not in line with his person.

The family members were found to back claims about staff members’ violation of a care recipient’s identity by using arguments involving their unique knowledge of the care receiver´s appearance, daily routines, and preferred activities. What was elder mistreatment for one particular person was, according to this argumentation, not necessarily mistreatment for someone else.

The study exposes considerable difficulties in introducing objective criteria for what elder mistreatment is and how mistreatment should be objectively measured. It also reveals problematic aspects in the person-centered care approach if taking for granted a stable or unambiguous identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-12450OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-12450DiVA, id: diva2:322934
Conference
Nordic Congress of Gerontology, Reykjavik, Island
Available from: 2010-06-08 Created: 2010-06-08 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Harnett, Tove

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf