Reablement has been positioned as a superior care ideal distinct from home care. Drawing on cross-national ethnographic data, this article instead demonstrates how the continuity and interdependency between reablement and conventional home care is more significant than suggested by policy rhetoric. Findings highlight the continuities and overlaps between activating and compensatory care, for example, how compensatory care might take the form of psychosocial reablement, activating and enabling even the frailest clients to age in place. The article concludes by pointing to the dangers of a narrow conception of reablement and argues for the benefits of more focused attention on clients’ psychosocial well-being.
The closure of day centres during the COVID-19 pandemic placed these, generally under-researched, services of day centres under the spotlight. We report priority areas for support and research concerning English adult and older people’s day centres identified by a 2021 survey. Day centres and other day centre stakeholders have an appetite for evidence and supportive resource materials, covering how to remain current and sustainable, demonstrate impact, and support the workforce. An underlying focus on day centres for older people and people living with dementia suggested that centres catering for these groups experienced the most difficulty in providing appealing evidence to service funders.
Many countries are reforming long-term care to deal with the social risks created by demographic and social change. However, the passage of legislation is often followed by a new set of challenges as policy is implemented. This article examines England’s Care Act 2014 through Compton and ‘t Hart’s criteria of policy endurance to demonstrate the importance of assessing effectiveness at multiple time points. Early success in ‘implementation readiness’ was followed by the abandonment or dilution of key commitments. Yet, the Act’s foundational principles – well-being, prevention and capping private spending – continue to shape care policy, much as its original supporters hoped.
Homecare providers face acute staff shortages, yet identifying new candidates with values aligned to person-centred care is challenging. This study aimed to develop and provisionally evaluate situational judgement tests to support recruitment. A total of 11 in-depth interviews with homecare workers yielded 59 ‘critical incidents’ in which person-centred values were tested. Draft scenarios were developed alongside behavioural response options, and a scoring key was devised by 15 people with lived experiences. After piloting, the final situational judgement tests comprised 11 scenarios with 63 response options. Homecare providers reported high acceptability and feasibility, feeling that the situational judgement tests could support recruitment. Future research will test their psychometric properties.
In this article, a methodological proposal for the analysis of the state’s actions on care is developed. We consider care as a way of inhabiting the world, and from this conception, we further argue it is a way of governing. Then, we elaborate on some considerations on the state’s field of action in care matters. Next, we propose a methodology to identify and classify those state actions that can be considered care actions. Finally, we exemplify its use with the Mexican federal budget of 2022. We find that care policies receive only 0.4 per cent of the total budget.
Caregiving for persons with severe mental health disorders is associated with higher stress levels and a lower quality of life. As rates of mental health disorders increase worldwide, the need for assisting familial caregivers with strategies to reduce stress is paramount. The present study examines the relationships between empathy (cognitive and affective), emotional intelligence and stress in these caregivers. A parallel mediation model demonstrates that cognitive empathy, in particular, partially mediated the negative relationship between emotional intelligence and stress, indicating the importance of cognitive empathy in caregiving. The results of this study can help design targeted interventions to reduce caregiver stress.
Many family carers of older people living with dementia report reduced quality of life, but limited research has investigated what they believe could improve it. Our thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with 23 family carers questions the standardisation of carer support and the appropriateness of the current scope of services, and suggests strengthening carers’ independent right to support. We propose the notion of a ‘care–life balance’, which also draws attention to the different logics inherent in informal and formal care that future service development should seek to reconcile to better support families affected by dementia.
We explored carers’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in England to identify long-term impacts and implications, and to suggest future support for caregivers. Data were collected during COVID-19 rapid response studies from carers participating in a British longitudinal cohort study. Semi-structured interview data were compared to accounts from previous interviews conducted during the first 18 months of the pandemic. There was indication of some return to pre-pandemic lifestyles, but without appropriate support, carers risked reaching crisis point. Evidence points to a requirement for assessment and management of support needs to ensure well-being and sustainable dementia caregiving.
Care is activist when acts of care produce acts of citizenship: acts of breaking the dominant models of being responsible. This article has the theoretical objective of parsing how some acts of care become activist because they subvert the dominant norms of involvement and produce new ways of being mutually linked. They break established habits and social habitus, and they require new ways of acting and responding. This is what allows us to reinterpret care as a subversive practice, reshaping the political, affective and ethical boundaries. This can generate the condemnation and criminalisation of care in response.
This study sets out to identify and describe informal care trajectories over the lifecourse in the Netherlands, and evaluate theoretical ideas on informal care trajectories. We conduct latent profile analysis on a sample of 949 respondents who retrospectively reported on all informal care episodes they had ever experienced, based on the number of episodes, age at first caring episode, duration and overlap. We identified four informal care trajectories – the one-time partner, mid-aged parental, serial and lifelong care trajectories – and assessed their differences in felt obligation, intensity and task complexity. The theoretical ideas of Keating and colleagues find support in our empirical evidence.