Interactions and Relationships in Long Term Care: Photography and Narratives by Direct Care Workers
- 392 Downloads
The challenge of hiring and retaining well-trained caregivers for the growing numbers of elders in need of care is a global concern. This study was designed to understand the views of direct care workers and included 15 nurse aides and med techs working in an assisted living and special care assisted living community for people with dementia. Each participant was provided with a digital camera and asked to take photographs “to show what caregiving means to you.” Analysis is based on group discussions about the full set of photographs created by the direct care workers and individual written and oral narratives about four photographs chosen by each participant. The categories generated from these data represent the direct care workers’ perceptions of the approaches to quality caregiving and the relationships involved in doing their jobs well. By focusing on the essential relationships and interactions, rather than primarily on the required care, we can begin to imagine the caregiving experience in terms of a communal rather than an institutional experience. We can then productively turn our focus to the people involved rather than emphasize their roles as providers or recipients of care.
KeywordsDirect care workers Caregiving Photography Narratives Long term care
Thanks to my research assistants: Denise Bordeman, for her dedicated participation in the data collection and transcription and Jeena George for her assistance with data summary and qualitative analysis. I also thank the residents, family, and staff of Greenbriar and Safe Harbor, especially the skilled and dedicated direct care workers whose commitment to their work is portrayed here in their discussions of the photographs they created.
- Abu-Lughod, Lila 1993 Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Anderson, James William 2002 A Psychological Perspective on the Relationship of William and Henry James. In Up Close and Personal: The Teaching and Learning of Narrative Research. Ruthellen Josselson, Amia Lieblich, and Dan P. McAdams, eds., pp. 177-197. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Collier, John, and Malcolm Collier 1986 Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
- Davidson, Jennifer 2007 Personal Communication, January 24.Google Scholar
- Diamond, Timothy 1992 Making Gray Gold: Narratives of Nursing Home Care. 1986. Reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Emmison, Michael J., and Philip Smith 2000 Researching the Visual: Images, Objects, Contexts and Interactions in Social and Cultural Inquiry. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Foner, Nancy 1994 The Caregiving Dilemma: Work in an American Nursing Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Harrison, Faye V. 1995 Writing Against the Grain: Cultural Politics of Difference in the Work of Alice Walker. In Women Writing Culture. Ruth Behar and Deborah A. Gordon, eds., pp. 233-248. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Heisley, Deborah D. 2001 Visual Research: Current Bias and Future Direction. Advances in Consumer Research 28, 45-46.Google Scholar
- Hernández, Jesús René Luna 2009 Photo-ethnography by People Living in Poverty Near the Northern Border of Mexico. Forum: Qualitative Social Research 10(2), Art. 35, http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1310/2811.
- Keith, Jennie 1982 Old people as people. Boston: Little Brown and Company.Google Scholar
- Ketelle, Diane 2010 The Ground They Walk On: Photography and Narrative Inquiry. The Qualitative Report 15: 547-568.Google Scholar
- Kitwood, Tom 1997 Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Kitwood, Tom, and Sue Benson. (eds) 1995 The New Culture of Dementia Care. London: Hawker.Google Scholar
- Kolb, Bettina 2008 Involving, Sharing, Analysing: Potential of the Participatory Photo Interview. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(3) Art. 12, http://nbnresolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0803127.
- Maas, Meridean L., Janet P. Specht, Kathleen C. Buckwalter, Josephine Gittler and Kate Bechen 2008 Nursing Home Staffing and Training Recommendations for Promoting Older Adults’ Quality of Care and Life. Part 2. Increasing Nurse Staffing and Training. Research in Gerontological Nursing 1: 134-152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pink, Sarah 2007 Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media and Representation in Research. UK: Sage Publications, Limited.Google Scholar
- Pinney, Christopher 1992 The Parallel Histories of Anthropology and Photography. In Anthropology and Photography 1860-1920. Elizabeth Edwards, ed., pp. 74-95. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Reed, Peter, and Sheryl Zimmerman 2010 The Importance of Relationships in Nursing Homes and Residential Care/Assisted Living Settings. Alzheimer’s Care Today 11: 4-5.Google Scholar
- Sabat, Steven R. 2006 Mind, Meaning, and Personhood in Dementia: the Effects of Positioning. In Dementia: Mind, Meaning and the Person. Julian C. Hughes, Stephen J. Louw, and Steven R. Sabat, eds., pp. 287-302. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Shuster, Stef 2009 Resolving Feminist Dilemmas within Ethnography: A Case for Photoethnography. In Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Online. 2010-07-08 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p308644_index.html.
- Shenk, Dena 2002 A Picture is Worth…: the Use of Photography in Gerontological Research. In Qualitative Gerontology, second edition. Graham Rowles and Nancy Schoenberg, eds., pp.241-262. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.Google Scholar
- Shenk, Dena, Etta Coleman, Portia Rezk, Brenda D. Bordeman, and Shayna Quilty 2007 Direct Care Workers Tell Their Stories: Using Video, Photographs and Narratives. Workshop at the North Carolina Conference on Aging, Winston-Salem, September 11.Google Scholar
- Smith, Shawn Michelle 1998 On the Pleasures of Ruined Pictures. In Fiction and Social Research: By Fire and Ice. Anna Banks and Stephen P. Banks, eds., pp. 179-194. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
- Willis, Deborah 1995 Women’s Stories/Women’s Photobiographies. In New American Feminist Photographies. Diane Neumaier, ed., pp. 84-92. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar