Sensor-floors: Changing Work and Values in Care for Frail Older Persons

Sidsel Lond Grosen*, Agnete Meldgaard Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Based on an ethnographic study in a Danish residential care center, this article shows how the interplay of a sensor-floor technology and currently influential values of person-centeredness, privacy, and security in care transforms care work and care interactions between residents and care workers. Based on an understanding of care as realized in a heterogeneous collective of human and nonhuman actors, this article illustrates how new modes of monitoring and interpreting residents’ care needs at a distance arise, and how a new organization of work focusing on quick and responsive care is established. These new care practices lead to conflicts between the values of privacy and security, to ambivalent experiences among care workers of simultaneously increased security and insecurity in work, and, paradoxically, also often to a decentering rather than person-centering of care. Instead of accommodating simultaneous compliance to the values of privacy, security, and person-centeredness, the use of the sensor-floors makes the tensions between these values continuously and loudly present in daily care practices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience, Technology & Human Values
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)254-274
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Ambient assisted living
  • Care technologies
  • Care work
  • Person-centered care
  • Privacy
  • Security

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