Homely residential care: a contradiction in terms?

Peace, Sheila and Holland, Caroline (2001). Homely residential care: a contradiction in terms? Journal of Social Policy, 30(3) pp. 393–410.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S004727940100633X


Accommodation and care for older people is commonly thought of in relation to residential care homes: the collective settings with communal lounges and dining rooms, where older people may live what seems to be a fine balance between individual and group routines. Yet, while there have been changes to the living arrangements of people in relatively large collective groups, the ideal put forward as a basis for care settings has remained that of 'home', with the family model still central. With the tensions between public and private, domestic and institutional living, regulated and non-regulated settings, all too obvious, this article uses a pilot study in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire of registered small homes with less than four residential places, often run by the proprietor and her family, to consider whether residential homes may replicate a homely environment, or whether the model has run its course.

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