Shadows in paradise: threatening situations and emotions in informal care

This study aims to deepen the understanding of threatening situations in informal care.

This understanding is needed because, although informal care is a common form of long-term care, state and municipal public care policies in Finland do not sufficiently recognize threats and the risk of violence in family care situations. The research also develops conceptual understanding of care as a tense affective relationship and practice, sometimes associated with serious and intrusive problems.

Research based understanding is essential, as ignoring leads to families being left alone to cope with difficult, at worst dangerous, life situations. The research challenges both public debate, care policy and care research to acknowledge threats related to informal care. The research is carried out in co-operation with a local caregiver association Tampereen Seudun Omaishoitajat Ry and its project Ei saa ravistaa aiming to prevent violence by caregivers. The research is funded by the Alli Paasikivi Foundation.

What we do?

Through qualitative research, the study draws a picture of threatening situations as told by carers. For the study, I have interviewed informal carers providing care for their spouse, parent or a child with special needs. The results of the study can be utilized by social and health care professionals working with carers, informal carers’ organizations, informal carergivers and care receivers and their relatives.

Liina Sointu