According to the 2011 census, approximately 18 per cent of the population in Wales are aged 65 years and over. This equates to approximately 563, 000 individuals in total, and of this number there are 25,000 Welsh residents who are aged 90 years and over in 2011(ONS, 2012).
Independent living for older people is currently high on the political agenda of the Welsh Government but, given the increase in the number of older people along with the compression of morbidity; achieving independent living for all older people becomes more challenging (AgeUK, 2010; pp. 66-71; ResearchService, 2011; Sixsmith et al., 2014)
Care & Repair Cymru are an organisation who are funded in part by the Welsh Government. Their aim is to ‘ensure that all older people are safe, secure and in homes that are appropriate to their needs’ (Care&RepairCymru, 2015), and despite the societal changes are still able to meet the demand placed upon them.
I have conducted primary research as part of a research project that examines the Care & Repair Caseworker role. Using an exploratory mixed methods approach I will attempt visualise how caseworkers are connecting to make best use of their social and human capital in an attempt to overcome factors like funding restrictions, increased competition, and increasing numbers of older people. I aim to use social network analysis, statistical modelling, and thematic analysis of qualitative data to explore the caseworkers, what they do, how they network and the context in which they are operating.
In addition to focusing on the caseworkers, I will also explore some of the perceived social outcomes that have resulted from the caseworkers intervention from the perspectives of older people themselves.