Residential Aged Care Facilities: Places for Living and Dying

Deborah Parker


This article explores residential aged care facilities (RACFs) as places of dying and death, and the role these spaces and places have in the construction of self identity for dying residents.  It argues that RACFs, rather than being static places where events such as dying and death occur, are places that shape these experiences. They are social institutions where the construction of self identity for dying residents arises out of the individual experience within the setting, most specifically the experience of social interaction. Drawing on ethnographic work in two Australian facilities the article explores how macro level influences such as economic, social and political discourses intersect with micro level experiences of dying for those approaching death as well as family members and health professionals who support the dying.


Self identity; space; place; residential aged care; scripts

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