Finding and funding social care: A qualitative study of the experiences of self-funders

With Dr Kate Baxter, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.

Date: 8 March 2021

Venue: Online

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About the seminar

Self-funders are people who pay the costs of their social care from their own resources. They are typically older people. At the start of their self-funding journey they tend to have limited understanding of social care. The growing evidence-base about the experiences of older self-funders and their families suggests people find the process of seeking and arranging care challenging.

Self-funders often rely on friends and family for relevant information and advice, including financial issues. However, people’s networks of friends and family with relevant experience can be limited, which in turn limits people’s opportunities for gathering information from others’ first hand experiences.

This presentation describes qualitative research that aimed to:

  1. Add to current knowledge about older people who self-fund their social care.

  2. Create an online resource of filmed extracts from interviews with self-funders or their carers talking about their experiences.

The latter will form part of a new peer experience website called Socialcaretalk (, to be launched later this year. Socialcaretalk aims to help the public and professionals to understand social care in the UK.

About the speaker

Kate’s research centres on social care for older people, with a focus on self-funders and their families. She is especially interested in self-funders’ experiences of navigating the social care system and how these experiences compare with older people in receipt of local council funding. She is committed to developing evidence-based resources to improve the experiences of self-funders, such as Getting informed, getting prepared.

Kate is also interested in joint working between social care and other sectors, including the financial sector. Her earlier research in the Social Policy Research Unit focussed on personalisation, home care and personal budgets for older people. She worked previously in the Departments of Social Medicine and Primary Care at the University of Bristol on evaluations of primary care interventions and commissioning.