'The Time that Used to Go': A Psychosocial Study of the Care Relationship in Residential Care Homes for People with Dementia

Ramsay-Jones, Esther (2018). 'The Time that Used to Go': A Psychosocial Study of the Care Relationship in Residential Care Homes for People with Dementia. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000da69

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore the relational field in dementia care by focusing on the particularity of experiences between carers and residents in two dementia care homes, while also keeping in view the social context of such experiences. Drawing on psychoanalytical ideas, the study examines in detail the dynamic psychic processes which took place between the people who lived and worked in both care settings, as well as noting the ways in which they came to inform the organisational culture of each site which was simultaneously constitutive of the relational field and also constituted by it.

Using research methods influenced by psychosocial ideas, data was gathered through two psychoanalytically informed observations of the care settings, a series of loosely structured interviews with staff and residents and notes from a personal research diary. There is a discussion of Living Well: A National Dementia Strategy, which focuses on the appropriateness of the ‘living well’ discourse for people in advanced stages of dementia, in which the experience of decline, dependency and death is present.

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