Using Private Social Care Services in Finland : Free or Forced Choices for Older People?
Mathew Puthenparambil, J., & Kröger, T. (2016). Using Private Social Care Services in Finland : Free or Forced Choices for Older People?. Journal of Social Service Research, 42 (2), 167-179. doi:10.1080/01488376.2015.1137534
Published inJournal of Social Service Research
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Use of private social care services among older people is increasing in Finland. This study aims to understand why older people choose private care in a comprehensive tax-subsidized social care system and examines whether people choose private service as a free choice or a forced choice as well as what factors contribute toward making these choices. Data for this study (N = 1,436) were gathered in 2010 from people aged 75 and above living independently at home in two Finnish cities: Tampere and Jyväskylä. Data were analyzed with several quantitative tests: chi-squared tests, multinomial regression analysis, and qualitative content analysis (for the open-ended responses from the survey questionnaire). Findings reveal that people chose private services mostly because of the effortlessness involved in its use and of the need for additional services that are unavailable through municipality; for example, cleaning. Majority of the respondents performed a free choice to use private services. People who lived in a city center with a higher level of income and who needed more services were more likely to be constrained toward using private support. Major concern, due to diminishing public service provision, is about service accessibility of economically disadvantaged groups; therefore, more research is required to understand the effects of the growing care market in Finland. ...