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Choice and control in social care: experiences of older self-funders in England

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Publication details

JournalSocial Policy and Administration
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Jun 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 5 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 16 Apr 2020
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)460-474
Early online date5/08/19
Original languageEnglish


This paper considers the experiences of older self-funders
in England in the context of policies promoting choice and
control. Self-funders are people who are not state-funded;
they pay for social care from their own resources. Choice
and control have been operationalized through personal
budgets, based on the assumption that managing resources
enhances ability to access appropriate care and support.
This paper uses data from 40 qualitative interviews with
self-funders and their relatives, and 19 with professionals. It
explores the impact of the financial and social capital that
self-funders are assumed to have and asks how older selffunders experience choice and control. The study found
that older self-funders drew on personal experiences, family, and friends for information; were reluctant to spend
their wealth on care due to competing priorities; and felt
they had more control over the timing of decisions than
people who were state-funded. Personal wealth appears to
be perceived differently to funds “gifted” to people through
cash for care schemes

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Authors. Social Policy & Administration published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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