Accepted paper:

Dying in place: almost at home


Bernike Pasveer (Maastricht University )

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at how 'homeliness' is calibrated in residential Dutch hospices. It argues that institutional ways of providing for autonomy, control and privacy tend to prioritize over residents' other orderings of these and other values.

Paper long abstract:

Although the paradigm of aging in place focuses on the elderly and hence invokes and feeds on the specific knowledges and technologies developed as gerontology and gerontechnology, it seems to share with the domain of end of life care an imaginary of home and homeliness. Both domains mobilize knowledge, technologies, architectures and moralities that favour home as the place to be. This paper looks at how 'home' is done in Dutch residential hospices as part of the queeste for dying in place. An important part of hospice's aspirations of being places that resemble home for who is unable to die at home concerns the provision of an environment that centers residents' autonomy, privacy and control over their lives. I analyse how these normativities are being enacted as the outcomes of specific intersections of hospice's institutional requirements and assumptions, and residents' propositions and definitions. I show that life in hospice - dying in place - tends to increasingly yproceed from hospices' and more generally palliative care's assumptions about rather than active enagements with and reflections on residents' ideas about dying in place.

panel E05
Assembly, silence and dissent in the design and use of gerontechnologies