Social care for older people – a blind spot in the Norwegian care system
A growing number of older people in Norway receive care services at home. Public policy aims at promoting social safety, preventing social problems and providing recipients of care with the means to live an active and meaningful everyday life together with others. However, health-related services have long been prioritized at the expense of other care services. Our aims are to investigate how professional caregivers in Norwegian home care for older people relate their professional mandate to social care to assess what different professional positions regarding social care imply for realizing the ideal of integrated and person-centered care. Interviews with 16 professional caregivers are analyzed within the framework of positioning theory. A variety of discursive positions relating the own professional mandate to social care are identified. Findings suggest that the absence of common standards leaves it up to the individual caregiver if social care needs are met or not. Common standards for social care delivery and a more suitable skill mix among health and social care professionals are proposed.