When Frost Happens

A Case Study of an Organization Committed to Care

in Anthropology in Action

This article draws from my time spent working as a caregiver in a 350-plus resident not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in the American Midwest. Caregivers working in CCRCs provide care and support to elderly residents who live out the rest of their lives in these transitional 'homes'. Yet even these organizations are transforming and changing the way care is being constructed and delivered. This paper examines how a long-term care facility (LTCF) is grappling with specific discourses about the nature of person-centred care, and its self-professed commitment to the journey of life. I show ethnographically how an organization centred on the business of care deals with the process of ageing, and that while the life course has been subject to forms of social and medical regimen, the ageing person is ontologically greater than his or her experiences in the nursing home, no matter how totalizing the institution.

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Anthropology in Action

Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice