EXTRACT from an article by Simon Biggs and Ashley Carr
In this Insight we examine the day-to-day interactions between personal care workers and residents, including:
- the ways in which guidance and the organisational response to regulatory demands provide structure for care interactions
- tensions arising in the regulated contexts, particularly between person-centred care and the emotional demands of care work
- two alternative strategies, ‘misattention’ and a ‘puzzle’ approach, that may be adopted to balance the demands of regulation and emotional connection in dementia care practice.
Throughout, we draw on evidence based on three care provider organisations, including direct observations of care practice and interviews conducted with senior managers, facility managers and direct workers across eight residential care facilities. We conclude that best practice in regulated environments allows for the negotiation of professional distance, empathy and problem solving strategies.
Includes sections on:
- Personal care work in day-to-day interaction
- Structuring practice through guidance
- Tensions in the regulation of care work
- The ‘puzzle’ approach
Integrating professional distance, empathy and problem-solving in regulated environments. Three pieces make up the puzzle approach:
- Empathic understanding
- Professional distancing or detachment
- Adopting a problem-solving approach
SOURCE: Biggs, Simon* and Carr, Ashley**. “Misattention and Problem Solving in Interactions between Care Workers and Dementia Care Residents.” Brotherhood of St Laurence, Research Insights 4, 2017.
Other Research Insights by Simon Biggs and Ashley Carr
- Organisational levels, strategies and design in the regulation of dementia care; 3.
- Exploring regulatory clusters in dementia care; 2.
- The role of regulation in aged and dementia care; 1.
About the project:
This project is Activity 7 of the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC), a national initiative funded jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Alzheimer’s Australia, which supports the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN), and three aged care industry partners—Brightwater Care Group, HammondCare and Helping Hand Aged Care.
*Simon Biggs is Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, and in the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) Research and Policy Centre.
**Ashley Carr is a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.
Research Insights are published by the Brotherhood of St Laurence as a contribution to the CDPC.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia