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Structural Discrimination and Abuse: COVID-19 and people in care homes in England and Wales.

Parker, J., 2021. Structural Discrimination and Abuse: COVID-19 and people in care homes in England and Wales. Journal of Adult Protection, 23 (3), 169-180.

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DOI: 10.1108/JAP-12-2020-0050


• Purpose 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 conceptualised as a form of structural abuse. Arguments are made for the inclusion of structural abuse as a separate category of elder abuse. • Design/methodology/approach This paper is predominantly conceptual but it also draws on available secondary data, such as mortality statistics, media reports, and developing research. • Findings The lack of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), paucity of guidance and high mortality rate amongst care home staff and residents during the pandemic is indicative of social discourses that, when underpinned by ageism, reflect structural elder abuse. • Originality Research concerning the effects and impact of COVID-19 are still in their early stages. However, the central element of originality in the paper concerns the linking of practices, policies and underlying social assumptions and structural, or societally ingrained, elder abuse. • Research limitations/implications The research is limited by its focus on a specific time period and its recency. It is also limited in not being based on primary empirical research but it remains exploratory and conceptual and provides a base for on-going research in this area. • Social implications If structural elder abuse were 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.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Structural abuse ; elder abuse ; COVID-19 ; Care Homes
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:35090
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:22 Jan 2021 12:08
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:26


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