Placed in homecare: Living an everyday life restricted by dependence and monitoring


  • Stinne Glasdam Lund Universtiy
  • Jeanette Praestegaard Health Sciences Center, Lund University; Department of Physiotherapy, Metropolitan University College
  • Nina Henriksen Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark



Field study, Case study, elderly, homecare, dependence, prison, Denmark, Foucault


Through a sociological case study this article analyses how, seen from a relational perspective, everyday life for elderly people receiving care in their own homes is lived with dependence on health-care professionals. The health-care professionals’ time and tasks are assigned and allocated in advance so that the elderly people are neither allowed nor able to vary their response in relation to the situation they encounter. The life of the client is also treated as though it were a solid, structured everyday life with minimal private time. Work in the home, for example, household chores and personal care, resembles a disciplining strategy. The client lives under conditions of monitoring and control comparable to conditions of imprisonment. The client is subject to the will of and social intercourse with other people in his own home; he both knows it is necessary and offers resistance to the conditions. In short, the authors argue that the homecare service acts as a disciplining practice in modern society.

Author Biography

Stinne Glasdam, Lund Universtiy

Stinne Glasdam

Associated Professor, ph.d., MSc(N)


Health Sciences Centre, HSC

Lunds University

Baravägen 3,

S- 222 41 Lund




Tel: +46 (0)46 222 1937

Mobil: +45 30296617





How to Cite

Glasdam, S., Praestegaard, J., & Henriksen, N. (2013). Placed in homecare: Living an everyday life restricted by dependence and monitoring. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 4.