Care-home providers as professionals: understanding the motivations of care-home providers in England

Tihana Matosevic, Martin Knapp, Jeremy Kendall, Catherine Henderson, José-Luis Fernández (2007)

Please note: this is a legacy publication from CPEC (formely PSSRU at LSE).

Ageing and Society 27 1 103-126

Available online: 6 December 2006

The financial and social climate in which the residential-care sector operates in the United Kingdom has changed substantially over recent years. This paper examines the underlying motivations for providing residential-care services for older people. We focus on the motivations of a sample of managers and owners of care homes drawn from eight English local authorities, and explore the intrinsic aspects of their motivations, particularly professional achievement, recognition and job satisfaction. The majority of the respondents' primary motivations were to meet the needs of older people and to accomplish professional achievements. Their caring motivations had four principal components, which were labelled professional, financial, client-specific and client-generic, and as for their professional motivations, the interviewees reported high levels of job satisfaction. The respondents were satisfied with their career choice and felt that, through their work, they were contributing to society. The study identified several personal and external factors that influenced the providers' intrinsic motivations and professional aspirations. The presented evidence suggests that if future policies are to improve the quality of care-home services, it is essential that they also incorporate the professional needs of care-home providers.