• community care;
  • dementia;
  • home helpers;
  • learning;
  • strain;
  • supervision

This study aimed to illuminate both the content of and the care given to demented people and the reflections of home care staff about it as revealed in two clinical group supervision sessions (n=36). Verbatim transcriptions were analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutic approach and the following were found to be reflected on: the pensioners’ personal situationdisease-related behaviour, ADL-functions, social network and self-esteem;the pensioners’ environmenttheir relationships to significant others, adequate level of housing/care, access to activities, and satisfactory personal space;pensioner/staff interactiontheir relations to each other, the staffs’ relation to the pensioners’ family, and the balance between reality-orientation vs. validation; the staff’s situationco-operation with other professionals, in primary health care, hospital, and within the social services; job satisfaction, lack of knowledge and sharing of knowledge, and lack of resources, especially time. The reasoning of the participants under supervision was found to be based on medical, historical, psychological, andenvironmental explanations, or personal beliefs. Feelings explored during supervisionwere directed towards the pensioners or the pensioners’ families, towards themselves or towards the management. The findings were interpreted within a nursing model based on the four central concepts of nursing; person, environment, nursing intervention and health. The reasoning about nursing care revealed in the supervision sessions reflected a holistic approach and the relationship between the staff and the demented person stood out as central for care quality. Thus focusing on what promotes or, respectively, obstructs this relationship is likely to be one important focus in clinical supervision not only to achieve improvement and high quality in home care but also to develop and enhance the quality of the working life of the staff. Since the results could be understood within a theoretical nursing care model, it may well be that if the supervisor functions within some theoretical model the participants may reach a more conscious approach and the risk of losing important aspects of caring will decrease.