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Free choice in residential care for older people– a philosophical reflection
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, NISAL - National Institute for the Study of Ageing and Later Life. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5295-2482
2016 (English)In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 37, no April, 59-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Free choice in elderly care services is a debated issue. Using the theoretical support of philosophers of free will, this paper explores free choice in relocation to residential care. The three dominant perspectives within this field of philosophy, libertarianism, determinism and compatibilism, are applied from the perspective of the older individual to the process of moving. Empirical data were collected through qualitative interviews with 13 older individuals who had recently moved into residential care. These individuals had made the choice to move following either a health emergency or incremental health problems. In a deterministic perspective they had no alternative to moving, which was the inevitable solution to their various personal problems. A network of people important to them assisted in the move, making the choice possible. However, post-move the interviewees’ perspective had changed to a libertarian or compatibilist interpretation, whereby although the circumstances had conferred little freedom regarding the move, the interviewees reported a high degree of self-determination in the process. It appeared that in order to restore self-respect and personal agency, the older individuals had transformed their restricted choice into a choice made of free will or freer will.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 37, no April, 59-68 p.
Keyword [en]
move, relocation, residential care, free choice, free will, moral agency, autonomy
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-125394DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2016.02.003ISI: 000376704700007OAI: diva2:905313

Funding agencies:This project has been funded by Vetenskapsradet, the Swedish Research Council (2009-1460).

Available from: 2016-02-22 Created: 2016-02-22 Last updated: 2016-06-27

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