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A Buberian approach to the co-construction of relationships between professional caregivers and residents in nursing homes

June 15, 2014

Gerontologist Vol. 54, No. 3 – Oxford University Press

Examines the way caregivers in Dutch nursing homes use either “I-It” or “I-Thou” language when addressing and caring for residents. The authors write that, in caregiving settings, the “I-It” construction is roughly analogous to a task-centered approach to care, while “I-Thou” is the equivalent of person-centered care. The “I-It” and “I-Thou” concepts are based on the work of social existentialist philosopher Martin Buber. 

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Contributing Authors
Westerhof, Gerben J., et al.
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