|Title||Public and Private Spaces in Residential Care for Older People|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Dementia, Sweden, Space, Care work|
|Book title||Learning from the Talk of Persons with Dementia|
This chapter presents analyzed evidence of care workers’ fine-grained verbal and nonverbal management of private vs. public space in residential care facilities for older people in Sweden. Using conversation analysis and ethnographic observations, the chapter accounts for the methods that care workers adopt to order space in a way that maintains a sense of privacy and dignity for the residents with whom they work. The analyses demonstrate how they negotiate the private and public ambiguity of space in the resident’s bathroom and in the common living room. The findings suggest that despite unavoidable clashes between private and public spheres, care workers possess methods to manage these clashes. These methods are presented in a summary of practical highlights. Mutual orientation to the neutral parts of the body, and casting the care activity as a moment of shared amusement stand out as prominent strategies that dispel potential aspects of embarrassment.