Grey matter really matters: a study of the learning opportunities and learning experiences of older people using social care services in England, United Kingdom

Article


Hafford-Letchfield, T. 2011. Grey matter really matters: a study of the learning opportunities and learning experiences of older people using social care services in England, United Kingdom. International Journal of Education and Ageing. 2 (1), pp. 8-23.
TypeArticle
TitleGrey matter really matters: a study of the learning opportunities and learning experiences of older people using social care services in England, United Kingdom
AuthorsHafford-Letchfield, T.
Abstract

Until relatively recently, educational gerontology and the social work literature on older people have largely ignored each other in relation to the implications for provision of social care services. There is however a growing imperative to converge these two agenda’s in light of the United Kingdom (UK) governments’ recent move towards more self-directed care which has been strongly asserted within its social policies (HMG, 2007). This paper reports on the findings of a small qualitative study, conducted in 2009, in which twenty in-depth interviews with older people using social care services from two different locations in England, UK, were used to explore their learning needs and experiences within the context of social care provision. The findings suggest that exploring the nature of learning and nurturing more pedagogical approaches within traditional care provision has potential for achieving a more person-centered approach. Further, the tendency for governments in more ‘progressive’ countries to depict service users as active, knowledgeable ‘consumers’ is challenged. Based on a model developed by McClusky (1974), four potential areas or levels of learning were explored in line with contemporary models of service user participation and involvement within the social care literature. The findings from this study tentatively suggests that paying attention to older people’s learning needs within social care interventions may offer important vehicles for promoting self-directed care.

KeywordsLifelong learning, older people, social care, person-centred care, self-directed care.
PublisherUniversity of Leicester and the Association of Education and Ageing
JournalInternational Journal of Education and Ageing
ISSN2044-5458
Publication dates
Print2011
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Aug 2013
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)http://www.associationforeducationandageing.org/international-journal-of-education-and-ageing.html
LanguageEnglish
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