Home is Where the Heart is: A Reader's Theatre

Maura McIntyre Ed.D.

This paper draws from qualitative research that seeks: to provide a window into the functioning of the dynamic social environment of a publicly funded nursing home in a large Canadian urban centre: to better understand how staff contribute, beyond role definition or job description, to the environment as a home like setting: and to gain insights into the complex interaction between individuals’ personal and professional commitment to caregiving. I explore ‘care’ and ‘home’, as separate concepts and map the terrain of their intersection through academic theory and everyday discourse. I consider how, in the institutional context of the nursing home, these concepts are brought to life and made real through the practices of staff. I deconstruct “homemaking” and reinvent the meaning and significance of homemaking as care. Using Reader’s Theatre as a presentational format, I discuss the qualities of the form and invite the reader to experience ‘home’ and ‘care’ as psychological constructs through storied text and in-role performance.