Caring for people with dementia in their own homes: Homecare workers’ experiences of tolerating and mitigating risk

Ruston, Annmarie and Backhouse, Tamara ORCID: (2024) Caring for people with dementia in their own homes: Homecare workers’ experiences of tolerating and mitigating risk. Ageing & Society, 44 (5). pp. 1073-1089. ISSN 0144-686X

[thumbnail of Final_Revised_risk_paper_for_Ageing_and_Society_April_2022_no_track_changes_un_anonymised]
PDF (Final_Revised_risk_paper_for_Ageing_and_Society_April_2022_no_track_changes_un_anonymised) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (340kB) | Preview


Little is known about risk management in homecare for people with dementia. We aimed to gain an understanding of the ways in which homecare workers assess and manage risk whilst caring for people with dementia in their own homes. We conducted a qualitative interview study with 17 homecare workers assisting people with dementia with their personal care. Interviews were face-to-face, semi-structured, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was inductive and thematic. A key theme of risk was identified, with three main sources: the client as a source of risk to the homecare worker, the clients’ home and behaviours as a risk to the client, and the wider health and social care system as a risk to both clients and homecare workers. Three interrelated aspects of risk were found to influence homecare workers’ decision-making and actions: homecare workers perception of the level of risk, their perceived ability to control the risk, and their tolerability of risk. The higher the perceived risk, the stronger the action taken by the worker or agency to mitigate it and the greater the impact on the client. To support effective development of this workforce there is a need to devise training that incorporates the use of tacit knowledge and experiential learning. Risk management policies for homecare should acknowledge and utilise the expertise, experiences and values of homecare workers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Financial support: This is a summary of research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration East of England (ARC EoE) programme (CB8 2019/20). The research was conducted at the University of East Anglia. TB was supported by a fellowship from the Alzheimer's Society, UK, 372 (AS-JF-17-002). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Alzheimer's Society or the University of East Anglia. Ethical standards: The research received approval from the UK Queen's Square Research Ethics Committee (18/LO/1677, IRAS Project ID: 251339). Participants received information prior to agreeing to take part in the study and provided written consent to interviews.
Uncontrolled Keywords: dementia,domiciliary care,homecare,risk,safety,health(social science),social psychology,arts and humanities (miscellaneous),geriatrics and gerontology,public health, environmental and occupational health ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Dementia & Complexity in Later Life
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Lifespan Health
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 15:18
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X22000575


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item