Assessment meetings between care managers and persons living with dementia : Citizenship as practice

Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with encounters between persons living with dementia and care managers. Dementia often results in progressive care needs that must be met by different social care services. The person’s care needs are assessed in an assessment meeting where the person and their relatives meet with a care manager to negotiate needs and social care services. The assessment is conducted through one or several conversations where the person with dementia meets the care manager; relatives are often present in the meetings. Dementia is a syndrome that involves a cognitive decline and a decreased ability to communicate and interact with others. It may therefore be difficult for a person with dementia to take part in discussions about their care needs and social care services. 15 audio recorded meetings have been studied to explore and understand how persons with dementia use their remaining communicative, cognitive and linguistic resources to invoke, negotiate, and use their rights as citizens in the institutional context where their care needs are assessed. The analysis concerns the organization of talk as a joint activity; the production of social actors in talk-in-interaction; the relation to institutional features of discourse. This dissertation concludes that the practice of citizenship is situation based and varies depending on the participants present. Care managers can facilitate for persons with dementia to overcome communication problems by using different discursive strategies and to make it possible for them to participate or at least be included in the negotiation. Persons with dementia are positioned as less competent than other persons participating in the assessment meeting. This might have an impact on the participation of people with dementia in negotiations regarding their future care. Furthermore, stories told in assessment meetings often position the person as dependent on others, which could undermine the identity and sense of self of the person with dementia.

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