BACKGROUND : Collaboration with care partners is a political aim in recent white papers in Norway and internationally. Home care services regularly work closely with care partners, but there are many indications that the collaboration does not work satisfactorily.
AIM : To explore home care staff and leaders’ experiences of collaborating with care partners of older people with mental health problems through a personhood perspective.
METHODS : The study had a qualitative design and comprised eight health professionals in two focus groups and in‐depth interviews with three leaders in one home care district. The data were analysed using a thematic framework analysis building on previous research on personhood. criteria for reporting qualitative reporting guidelines were used to ensure comprehensive reporting.
RESULTS : Four themes were identified in the analysis: ‘non‐negotiated relationships’, ‘contradictory agendas’, ‘weak paternalism’ and ‘moral compromise’.
CONCLUSION : There seems to be a lack of facilitation of collaborative relationships through all levels of the home care organisation. The interactions between care partners and home care staff sometimes appear to produce low or negative levels of emotional energy, and situations where the personhood of neither of them is respected occurs. Paying attention to the four modes of being as a framework for understanding personhood creates the foundation for a person‐centred approach that enhances the potential of creating stronger partnership in care relationships.