Cleaning and Caring: Contributions in Long-term Residential Care
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Cleaning and cleaners make three main contributions to long-term residential care. While cleaning in hospitals has received considerable research attention, much less attention has been paid to connecting cleaning and cleaners with the specific nature of long-term care and resident needs. In this article we explore three critical contributions cleaning and cleaners make to the quality of care in nursing homes. This work is central to infection control. It is also important in maintaining the appearance of the home; in making it home-like, welcoming, and safe. Much less visible is the significant part cleaners play in supporting relational care. Based on ethnographic studies in six countries, we argue that the extent to which cleaners and cleaning promote quality care and worker health is related to the division of labour, team work, training, equipment, and some autonomy.
KeywordsLong-term care Care work Elder care Care homes Cleaning Relational care Division of labour Ethnography Feminist political economy Training Qualification Staffing levels
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
We did obtain written, informed consent from all participants interviewed in this study. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. All names have been replaced by pseudonyms in order to maintain anonymity.
Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)
Ethical approval was obtained for this research from York University Research Ethics Board and in all jurisdictions requiring further ethics approval.
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