‘At What Cost? the Impact of UK Long-term Care Funding Policies on Social Work Practice with Older People’: A Literature Review

Higgs, Alison and Hafford-Letchfield, Trish (2018). ‘At What Cost? the Impact of UK Long-term Care Funding Policies on Social Work Practice with Older People’: A Literature Review. Ethics and Social Welfare, 12(3) pp. 229–243.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17496535.2018.1505931

Abstract

Moving to a care home is a significant and often costly milestone in many older people’s lives, with considerable implications for an individual’s future autonomy, safety, wellbeing and security. Such provision has considerable financial impact both on the economy and on those required to make significant contributions to their own care. Reductions in community-based support and widespread gaps in the sustainable development of alternative options to residential care pose challenges in relation to decision-making for those older people and their carers who wish to make timely plans for good quality provision. The system and process of transfer to care can also be fragmented, bewildering and involve multiple organisations and assessments, often at a time of crisis. Social Workers are key professionals in providing assessment, advocacy and planning with older people and their carers and the challenging neo-liberal policy context suggests the potential for numerous ethical dilemmas for practitioners.

This paper examines themes from recent literature in the field of social work with vulnerable older people, particularly in relation to funding arrangements for residential care, examining how ethical issues in this field of social work practice are identified and discussed.

This paper presents a narrative review of relevant literature since 2010. It examines and synthesises key themes and considers how ethical issues connected to this field of social work practice are articulated.

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