This book is about the tensions in long-term residential care. By tensions, we mean ideas, approaches, practices, programs, interests and communities that have conflicting demands and/or consequences. There is often, for example, a tension between the need to give priority to the increasingly complex medical needs of residents and the plan to provide the kind of support that emphasizes social care and interpersonal relationships. Such tensions can mean significant tradeoffs or even negative consequences, as for instance when residents are put in wheelchairs to avoid falls but end up unable to walk as a result. For analytic purposes, we set out some of these tensions as if they represent simple alternatives and our ideas worth sharing sometimes suggest a simple alternative. But in practice alternatives overlap, and there are often benefits as well as negative consequences to each of them.
About the authors
Pat Armstrong is a Distinguished Research Professor in Sociology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She teaches Sociology at York University, Toronto, Canada and publishes in the area of long-term residential care, women’s health, social policy and social services. She is the Principal Investigator on Reimagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices.
Ruth Lowndes is a Research Associate at York University, engaged full time on the project, Reimagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices. She is a co-applicant on a related international project, Changing Places: Unpaid Work in Public Spaces, which uses team-based rapid ethnography within a feminist perspective to examine how the paid and unpaid work involved in care changes with a person’s transition into long-term residential care. She is registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario and is a Certified Diabetes Educator.