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The significant demand for and reduction in mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in family carers providing higher levels and increased hours of support of increased complexity. Guided conversations within seven co-designed online focus groups with 73 family carers, representing diverse communities and ages, explored the experiences of and desired changes for mental health service provision. Six themes emerged: service users’ experiences; the effects of system failures and service provisions; the impact on carers’ health and well-being; unmet community needs; responsive innovations; and policy and practice recommendations. Co-producing research with families elevated family voices and supported carers in expressing their experiences, needs and rights.

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Deep-seated problems facing the residential and nursing care home sector have been compounded by the impacts of the pandemic, underfunding and the cost-of-living crisis. This study aims to investigate how patterns of access to registered residential and nursing care places changed in the period spanning lockdowns and demonstrate how spatial analytical techniques can be used to examine the potential impacts of ongoing pressures on geographical patterns of access. Findings identify variations in access to provision hidden within aggregate figures that can help stakeholders monitor the current and projected availability of places as part of an overall package of care provision.

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The COVID-19 pandemic imposed the suspension of many care services, and families had to choose between adhering to lockdown measures or caring for vulnerable relatives. This study revisits the Informal Care Model by explicitly incorporating the role of changing circumstances during the pandemic to understand care provision by adult children. Using nationally representative data from the UK, statistical analyses reveal that the usual suspects, such as women, were more likely to undertake additional care tasks. However, they also highlight new enabling factors for care provision that have arisen from the pandemic, such as the ability to work from home.

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Introduction:

Sexual activity in later life is increasingly being researched, but there is a gap in knowledge about the Global South, mainly Latin America.

Objective:

The objective of this article is to evaluate how biological, psychological and social factors influence active sex life in older Chilean people, using a gender-stratified analysis.

Methodology:

The study is based on secondary data analysis of the fifth National Survey of Quality of Life in Old Age, carried out in Chile in 2019 with a sample of 2,132 people aged 60 and over. Bivariate analysis was conducted to test the influence of biological, psychological and social variables on having an active sex life. Additionally, multiple hierarchal logistic regressions were carried out using a gender-stratified analysis to explore whether the independent variables predict active sex life.

Results:

Self-perceived health and chronic illness did not have predictive value regarding active sex life in older Chilean adults. However, partner health was a significant factor in predicting active sex life, particularly for women. People who reported being dissatisfied with life had 55 percent lower chance of having an active sex life than those who reported being very satisfied with life. Attitude towards sexuality, relationship status and education level were other variables that predicted an active sex life for older adults in Chile. Still, there were significant gender differences in the results.

Conclusion:

Interpersonal, psychological and social factors are more relevant than biological factors (except for age) when predicting sexual activity for older Chileans, and gender differences are central when analysing sexual activity.

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In this article, we investigate the accuracy of age reporting by people aged 60 and older and proxy reporting by their carers in a peri-urban area of Uganda, and analyse the factors that influence reporting by both groups. We find a high level of age heaping on terminal digits 0 and 5, indicating poor knowledge of age. Contrary to other studies, we find that literate people were more likely to exhibit age heaping. We link this to the absence of birth registration for this cohort and the introduction of National Identification (ID) cards in Uganda five years before our survey. We conclude that age heaping is better interpreted as an indicator of registration machinery than of human capital. We also find that the health, functional capabilities and education of older people influenced the age ascribed to them by their carers. Carers who knew the older people less well were more likely to overestimate their age, and carers of healthy and more educated people were more likely to report a younger age than that reported by the older people themselves. Where people don’t know their age, the age they report may also be influenced by their health and capabilities, making it difficult to establish true relationships between chronological age and outcomes such as health. In many disciplines, self-reported age or age reported by proxy respondents is accepted uncritically by researchers, but our study shows that in peri-urban Uganda age reporting remains approximate and biased, and this has strong implications for appropriate targeting and monitoring of interventions to support healthy ageing in such contexts.

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Words matter, especially in times of crisis. This article analyses the complexities of political discourse on vulnerability by considering the case of the Dutch COVID-19 response. Our study finds that the framing of vulnerability as a predetermined and naturalised condition, linked to old age and pre-existing medical conditions, draws attention away from aspects of precarisation tied to economic position, social class, cultural background and living conditions. This rhetorical strategy can be understood as a practice of de-responsibilisation through which attention is rhetorically diverted from the way(s) in which political authorities are implicated in producing, exacerbating or failing to mitigate vulnerabilities.

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This article explores how the biomedicalisation of ageing permeates the fields of public administration and public policy. We posit that the biomedicalisation of ageing policies depends strongly on: (1) the institutionalisation of ageing policy, both with regard to ministerial responsibility for programmes targeting older adults and the construction of ageing as a healthcare policy problem within the state apparatus; and (2) the dominant presence of health experts and professionals in the policy-making process in the field of ageing. We present a comparative analysis featuring three countries (Canada, Sweden and the US) with different administrative configurations and policy mixes in relation to older adults. We conclude that the biomedicalisation of ageing expertise is strongest in Canada and the US, and weakest in Sweden. The delegation of long-term care responsibility to municipalities and the strong commitment to develop and include social science expertise explains the Swedish outcome. The article provides illustrations as to why this distinction matters in policy making and in the day-to-day lives of older adults, and why it should be explored in other countries around the globe.

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Family carers of people with dementia have reported increased caring demands during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this qualitative study is to explore seven family carers’ accounts of dementia caregiving one year into the COVID-19 pandemic in England in relation to carer resilience. Themes describe the complex challenges of caring during the pandemic, with interviewees burned out and ‘caring beyond capacity’ due to unmet needs within the caring role, therein highlighting the limitations of building individual resilience only. Timely practical support for carers is essential to protect their well-being and to ward against the potential consequences of carer burnout.

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