Transforming Bodywork in Eldercare with Wash-and- dry Toilets




Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Learning & Competencies, Identity, Meaning & Culture, Organization & Management


This paper addresses how the introduction of welfare technologies in Denmark makes the body- work of eldercare an object of public governance, and investigates how wash-and-dry toilets co-constitute professional care work. First, a theoretical frame is established for studying care, with an emphasis on bodywork as a sociomaterial and collective accomplishment. The paper then unfolds the great expectations tied to welfare technologies in general, and wash-and-dry toilets specifically. Turning to differentiated examples of situated uses of the toilets, the complexity of making the toilets work within the context of professional eldercare is illustrated. Some of the uses of the toilets in care work are in concordance with policy expectations. Other uses demonstrate difficulties in satisfying the great expectations and call for a more complex understanding of what it takes to achieve dignified, technologically assisted care without silencing the skills and profes- sionalism of care workers.

Author Biographies

Agnete Meldgaard Hansen, Roskilde University


Assistant professor, Department of People and Technology. E-mail:

Sidsel Lond Grosen, Roskilde University


Associate professor, Department of People and Technology




How to Cite

Hansen, A. M., & Grosen, S. L. (2019). Transforming Bodywork in Eldercare with Wash-and- dry Toilets. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(S5).