What skills do older self-funders in England need to arrange and manage social care? Findings from a scoping review of the literature

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Older people in England who pay for social care from their own funds (‘self-funders’) receive little help in seeking and arranging care compared to older people funded by their local council. This suggests an implicit assumption that people funded by local councils need help to manage their care whereas self-funders do not. This paper reports findings from a scoping review of published evidence from England, Scotland and Wales on the skills that older people need, and the help they get, to seek, arrange or manage use of social care, and how this help affects outcomes. Searches undertaken in October 2018 resulted in the inclusion of thirty-six empirical papers and seven reviews. Thematic analysis identified the importance of everyday life and specific business skills, and personal attributes including objectivity when evaluating options. The review identified two significant gaps in the evidence; first, how help in seeking and arranging care compensated for lack of, or complemented existing, skills; and second, how outcomes for people receiving help in arranging care compared with those not receiving help. The paper concludes that a tailored approach to supporting older people arrange and manage care, irrespective of funding, should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2703-2721
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number7
Early online date23 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

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