Networks of care: valuing social capital in community aged care services

Aged care Home care Social capital Competition regulation Consumer directed care Australia

Community aged care services in Australia are undergoing major change. With the introduction of Consumer Directed Care (CDC), older adults who are eligible for assistance have control over spending their individual budget on services and can choose a service provider in an open, competitive market. One important question is whether a marketised service system might pose a risk to the collaborative and cooperative relationships among providers. This pilot research project used network mapping to gain understanding of the utility and value of social capital, in the form of networks and links, to community aged care service provision. Our study suggests that such links bring important benefits to staff and through them to service users.

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