Ideals of Old Age - Constructing Ageing and Care in Local Strategy Documents
In Finland the practical level of care policy takes place primarily at the local level. Currently municipalities have the responsibility for care provision. Consequently, it is essential to do analysis of care policy not only at the national, but also at the local level, and reflect on how the changes taking place at the local level are similar and different to those taking place at the national level.
The focus of my analysis is on how ageing and care are constructed in Finnish local level strategy documents. My data consists of documents that have been published between the years 2008 and 2016. Through the viewpoint of discourse analysis, the aim is to is to explore what kind of reality of ageing and care is constructed in these local strategy documents, and how this reality constructed in the local strategy documents plays part in the shaping of local care policy.
The preliminary analysis shows how in local strategies, the provider and organiser of care is first and foremost the ageing individual who, via self-care, leads active, independent and autonomous life. If the ageing person has any care needs, the needed care is provided by family, next of kin and community. The role of public sector and welfare state is constructed as diminishing and secondary in the local strategies.