Book chapter Trapped in the Institution: Governing the Covid-19 Epidemic in Slovenian Eldercare Homes from the Perspective of Care Micro-Mobilities
Majda Hrženjak published a book chapter Trapped in the Institution: Governing the Covid-19 Epidemic in Slovenian Eldercare Homes from the Perspective of Care Micro-Mobilities in the book Care Loops and Mobilities in Nordic, Central, and Eastern European Welfare States, edited by Lena Näre and Lise Widding Isaksen.
The chapter provides an analysis of the government measures for the containment of Covid-19 disease in elder care homes in Slovenia, where during the first wave of the epidemic the death toll among residents was among the highest in Europe. By the concept of care micro-mobilities and the notion of the ‘confinement of vulnerable social groups’ as an element of biopolitics, it demonstrates that government measures had a particularly negative effect on the care for the elderly and care workers in care homes. Contextual analysis of structural problems of the institutional care in Slovenia pointed to staffing and spatial inadequacies of confinement measures. There were several ways in which government measures followed the logic of restrictive confinement of seniors in homes both from the wider community and within the homes: with a complete interruption of visits and exits; with the confinement of the infected residents together with the non-infected within the homes; with spatial and staff isolation of three zones; with anticipatory triage of residents regarding the access to hospital treatment based on their health condition. Based on the experiences in eldercare homes during the first wave of the pandemic, the chapter concludes by considering the issues of discrimination, ageism, prospects for the deinstitutionalization and the system of long-term care in Slovenia.