How do we measure unmet need for social care in later life?

Vlachantoni, Athina, Shaw, Richard, Willis, Rosalind, Evandrou, Maria, Falkingham, Jane and Luff, Rebekah (2012) How do we measure unmet need for social care in later life? In, 65th Annual Conference of the Gerontological Society of America (2012), 14 - 18 Nov 2012. (doi:10.1093/geront/gns201).


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Recent spending cuts in the area of adult social care raise policy concerns about the proportion of older people whose need for social care is not met. Such concerns are emphasised in the context of population ageing and other demographic changes, for example in the living arrangements of older people, which can place greater pressure on formal and informal systems of care and support provision. However, the concept of ‘unmet need’ is challenging in terms of its definition and measurement, as it can include objective notions of access and use of services, as well as subjective notions of expectations, satisfaction and want. This paper explores the concept of ‘unmet need’ and its operationalisation through national cross-sectional and longitudinal data from the General Household Survey and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Following attendance of this presentation, participants will be enabled to: firstly, understand the link between literature in social policy and the concept of ‘unmet need’ in the British policy context; secondly, assess evidence from the GHS and the ELSA which illustrate patterns of unmet need for social care among older people and which explore the relative importance of demographic and socio-economic characteristics in such differentials; and thirdly, understand the policy implications of the findings in the context of significant demographic and policy change in the UK.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/geront/gns201
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Ageing / Gerontology
ePrint ID: 356110
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
14 November 2012Delivered
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 15:44
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:56
The Care Life Cycle: Responding to the Health and Social Care Needs of an Ageing Society
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/H021698/1)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
24 May 2010 to 23 May 2015

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