Cleaning and Caring: Contributions in Long-term Residential Care

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Long-term care Care work Elder care Care homes Cleaning Relational care Division of labour Ethnography Feminist political economy Training Qualification Staffing levels 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VechtaVechtaGermany
  2. 2.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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