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Title: When foreign domestic helpers care for and about older people in their homes : I am a maid or a friend
Authors: Ho, KHM
Chiang, VCL 
Leung, D 
Ku, BHB 
Keywords: Phenomenology
Home care
Older people
Foreign domestic helper
Kin-like relationship
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Global qualitative nursing research, 29 Jan. 2018, v. 5, p. 1-10 How to cite?
Journal: Global qualitative nursing research 
Abstract: We examine the lived experiences of foreign domestic helpers (FDH) working with community-dwelling older people in Hong Kong. Unstructured interviews were conducted with 11 female FDHs, and thematically analyzed. The theme inescapable functioning commodity represented the embodied commodification of FDHs to be functional for older people in home care. Another theme, destined reciprocity of companionship, highlighted the FDHs' capacity to commit to home care and be concerned about older people. The waxing and waning of the possibilities of commodified companionship indicated the intermittent capacity of FDHs to find meaning in their care, in which performative nature for functional purposes and emotional engagement took turns to be the foci in migrant home care. This study addresses the transition of FDHs from task-oriented relation to companions of older people through care work. Discussion draws on the development of a kin-like relationship between FDHs and older people with emotional reciprocity grounded in moral values.
ISSN: 2333-3936
DOI: 10.1177/2333393617753906
Rights: © The Authors(s) 2018
Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work withoutfurther permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
The following publication Ho, K. H. M., Chiang, V. C. L., Leung, D., & Ku, B. H. B. (2018). When foreign domestic helpers care for and about older people in their homes: i am a maid or a friend. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 5, 1-10 is published by Sage and is available at
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