Evaluating dementia home care practices: The reification of care norms
Journal of Aging Studies
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© 2017 This critical ethnographic study examined how power relations shape the nature and enactment of caregivers' evaluation of home-based dementia care practices. As the home care sector continues to evolve and prepare itself as a key element in caring for people living with dementia and their families, this study grounds our understanding of how dementia home care practices are enacted and evaluated, particularly at the interface of formal and familial caregiving. The critical finding from our data is that not all evaluations of care practices were considered equally meaningful or relevant, and, moreover, their significance depended on whether the evaluation was made by someone in a position of power. Renewed awareness of and attention to power relations, such as class and gender, are implicated in the evaluation of care practices. Consequently, challenging how power is enacted in ways that (re)produces and reifies care norms is vital in order to foster equitable and supportive partnerships in home-based dementia care.