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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Dangerous care: developing theory to safeguard older adults in caring relationships in the UK
Author(s): Sherwood-Johnson, Fiona
Rummery, Kirstein
Lawrence, Julia
Mackay, Kathryn
Ramsay, Kathryn
McGregor, Rebecca
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Keywords: Relationships
Older people
Issue Date: 11-Apr-2023
Date Deposited: 2-May-2023
Citation: Sherwood-Johnson F, Rummery K, Lawrence J, Mackay K, Ramsay K & McGregor R (2023) Dangerous care: developing theory to safeguard older adults in caring relationships in the UK. <i>Journal of Adult Protection</i>.
Abstract: Purpose Most abuse affecting older adults in the UK, as across Europe, takes place within caring relationships, where one person is disabled and needs care/support. This article critically appraises two of the key theoretical explanations. First, feminist theories of “intimate partner abuse” tell us that it is mostly men who perpetrate abuse against women. Second, “carer strain”: the stress caused by caring responsibilities, often with inadequate help from services. Neither fully reflects the complex dynamics of “dangerous care” leading to a lack of voice and choice in safeguarding responses. This article articulates the need for an overarching theoretical framework, informed by a deeper understanding of the intersectional risk factors that create and compound the diverse experiences of harm by disabled people and family carers over the lifecourse. Design/methodology/approach The critical synthesis of the theoretical approaches informing UK policy and practice presented here arises from a structured literature review and discussions held with three relevant third sector agencies during the development of a research proposal. Findings No single theory fully explains dangerous care and there are significant gaps in policy, resources and practice across service sectors, highlighting the need for joint training, intersectional working and research across service sectors. Originality Drawing both on existing literature and on discussions across contrasting policy and practice sectors, this article raises awareness of some less well-acknowledged complexities of abuse and responses to abuse in later life.
DOI Link: 10.1108/jap-10-2022-0023
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Journal of Adult Protection by Emerald. Sherwood-Johnson F, Rummery K, Lawrence J, Mackay K, Ramsay K & McGregor R (2023) Dangerous care: developing theory to safeguard older adults in caring relationships in the UK. Journal of Adult Protection. The original publication is available at: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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