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Like a Social Breath: Homecare’s Contributions to Social Inclusion and Connectedness of Older Adults


Reidun Norvoll ,

Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet), NO
About Reidun
Dr. Reidun Norvoll (female), is a research professor at the Work Research Institute at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet). She has with a PhD in sociology and PostDoc from the University of Oslo (UiO), both studies on development of mental health services. She has in-depth experience with participatory research with various vulnerable or disadvantaged groups. Norvoll is currently project coordinator for the EU project 'YouCount - Empowering youth and co-creating social innovation and policy-making through youth citizen social science' (2021-20239. She has published widely on end-users’ perspectives and user-involved research and innovation in relation to health- and social services
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Christine Øye,

Western Norway University of applied sciences, NO
About Christine
Christine Øye has a PhD in social anthropology. She works as a professor at Centre of care research at the Department of Health and Caring sciences, Western Norway University of applied sciences. She has published widely on health and social care service research for many years. This includes research fields such as: Practice development and innovation studies; Use of coercion and restraint in mental health services and nursing homes; Milieu therapy in mental health services; User participation and power relations; Person-centred care. Patient and user communities; Research ethics; Ethnographic research and critical ethnography and Implementation research and co-creation of knowledge.
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Astrid Helene Skatvedt

University of South-Eastern Norway, NO
About Astrid
Astrid Helene Skatvedt is a professor at Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Health, Social and Welfare Studies at the University of South-Eastern Norway. She has a PhD in Sociology with a particular expertise in symbolic interactionism and Goffmanian interactionism. Her research fields are mental health and substance abuse related care and ethnography.
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The detrimental effects of social isolation on health and well-being bring forward the need for increasing social inclusion and connectedness for older, homebound adults. Homecare services may be a source of social inclusion, but the inclusive dimensions and mechanisms of care have been less explored. This study aimed to develop more knowledge on how homecare can contribute to social inclusion by exploring older adults’ experiences with care visits as social encounters. The study utilised interviews with older adults from four municipalities in Norway and Denmark from 2018 to 2019 and drew on a combination of social inclusion theories and Goffmanian microinteractionism. Positive accounts of care encounters comprised three overlapping thematic dimensions: 1) bringing social life into the house, 2) creating connections to the outside world and 3) providing opportunities to participate in a broader array of social roles and identities. Despite variations, care visits could encompass social inclusive and connective aspects that enhanced thriving and wellbeing. Care visits increased opportunities for social participation and support of a valued self and comprised bonding, bridging and linking social capital. Care workers could be important interpersonal network resources at home, providing support and social stimulation, engagement and fun. Moreover, they could bridge to the outside society through conversations or by linking to services (e.g. day centres) that increased social participation and bonding with peers outside the house. The inclusive resources embedded in homecare need to be supported and utilised in policy and practice to increase older people’s inclusion.
How to Cite: Norvoll, R., Øye, C. and Skatvedt, A.H., 2022. Like a Social Breath: Homecare’s Contributions to Social Inclusion and Connectedness of Older Adults. Journal of Social Inclusion, 13(2), p.None.
Published on 20 Dec 2022.
Peer Reviewed


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