Risks to home care workers: Professional perspectives

Brian Taylor, Michael Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Care at home is fundamental to community care policy, but the simultaneous growth of health and safety regulation has implications for home care services because of the duty of employers towards home care workers. This grounded theory study set in Northern Ireland used data from 19 focus groups and nine semi-structured interviews with a range of health and social services professionals and managers to explore perspectives on planning long term care for older people. Home care workers faced a wide range of hazards in the homes of clients, who themselves were faced with adapting their living habits due to their changing health and care needs and ‘risks.’ Creative approaches were used to ensure the health and safety of home care workers and simultaneously to meet the choices of clients. Staff experienced feelings of conflict when they judged it necessary to impose their way of providing home care and thus impose their values on clients to create a safe working environment. There was variation between and within organizations in terms of the staff focus on client needs or on their employer responsibility towards home care workers. The planning of home care services must take account of both the choices of clients and the hazards facing home care staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-256
Number of pages18
JournalHealth, Risk and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Sept 2006


  • Home care, domiciliary care, health and safety regulation, older people, assessment, client choice, risk management, self-neglect


Dive into the research topics of 'Risks to home care workers: Professional perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this