This was an ethnographic investigation that had the aim of discussing the care provided for elderly people living in long-term institutions. The methodology consisted of conducting an interview with an elderly woman to reconstruct her life story, combined with systematic observation of the location. The analysis on the empirical data started with identification of topics of relevance to the narrator. These were worked up using care-related categories and were discussed through subcategories: self-care, informal care, charitable care and professional care. The results indicated that the care provided by professionals to elderly people do not always correspond to what is expected. We emphasize the importance of broadening the discussion on long-term institutions and the concept of care, taking into account the sociability of the elderly and promoting their health.
Elderly people; Homes for the aged; Care; Caregiver; Old people's home