Structural discrimination and abuse: COVID-19 and people in care homes in England and Wales

Jonathan Parker, The Journal of Adult Protection Article publication date: 15 February 2021

The purpose of this paper is to explore the significant and high death toll of COVID-19 on care home residents and social care staff in England and Wales. These mortality figures, alongside differential treatment of residents and staff during the pandemic, are conceptualized as a form of structural abuse. Arguments are made for the inclusion of structural abuse as a separate category of elder abuse. The paper is predominantly conceptual but it also draws on available secondary data, such as mortality statistics, media reports and developing research. The paper finds that the lack of appropriate personal protective equipment, paucity of guidance and high mortality rate among care home staff and residents during the pandemic is indicative of social discourses that, when underpinned by ageism, reflect structural elder abuse. If structural elder abuse was to be included in classifications, it demands a rethink of social and health-care services and the policies and practices associated with them and reinforces the government message that safeguarding is everyone’s business. (Centre for Policy on Ageing)

Emerald Insight Source: Structural discrimination and abuse: COVID-19 and people in care homes in England and Wales | Emerald Insight

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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