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Glimmerveen researches inequality in home care for the elderly

28 October 2021
Organisational scientist Ludo Glimmerveen of VU Amsterdam, together with Monique Kremer (Endowed professor active citizenship at the University of Amsterdam), has been awarded a project grant by ‘Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid’ (Knowledge Centre for Inequality). Over the next two years, they will use this grant to study inequality in the care of elderly people at home in Amsterdam.

With the grant of 99,700 euros, Glimmerveen and Kremer want to gain a better understanding of unequal access and unequal use of professional care and support in the home situation of various groups of elderly people in Amsterdam.

Glimmerveen: "We are very happy with the grant. It will give us a better idea of why care providers do or do not succeed in connecting with elderly people from diverse backgrounds in a super-diverse city like Amsterdam. And to better understand what it takes to improve that connection so that our collective care services actually offer support to all Amsterdam's elderly."

When it comes to accessibility of care, it is often about issues such as physical accessibility, or the amount of the deductible excess. Glimmerveen and Kremer also try to pay attention to more subtle characteristics that play an important role in access to care, such as whether people recognise themselves in the care that’s currently offered, Glimmerveen explains. "It's great that we can gain a better understanding with this project. And from there we can think about practical tools for improvement."

Glimmerveen: "In the research, we focus on elderly people with various backgrounds. For example, we are doing a case study with a home care organisation that turns out to be able to serve elderly people from various migration backgrounds, who do not always trust the existing provided care. At the same time, we also look at higher educated, often more affluent elderly people who arrange care and support themselves outside the collective offer, for instance by hiring a care-au-pair or arranging support themselves as a citizens' collective. What makes people happy with one solution and not with the other? And what does this mean for the collective nature of the provided care in a super-diverse city like Amsterdam?"

Glimmerveen and Kremer are also working with the ROC van Amsterdam to involve students as co-researchers. Glimmerveen: "They themselves are a reflection of the diversity in the city. Their experiences in the workplace and in their personal environment give us important additional insight into the themes studied."

‘Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid’ is a joint initiative of the City of Amsterdam and the four knowledge institutes in the city: UvA, VU, HvA and Inholland. The aim of the centre is to describe and explain new, persistent or growing forms of inequality in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and, through research, to contribute to practices that can prevent or counteract inequality.

Glimmerveen and Kremer are, in addition to their appointments at VU and UvA, affiliated with the Ben Sajet Centre. This is a knowledge workplace that is engaged in research, development and implementation for the benefit of care practice and care training in Amsterdam. This new project is also embedded in the Ben Sajet Centre. Glimmerveen: "During the project, we will ensure an exchange with the parties who are involved in the studied themes in their daily work. In this way, we ensure that our findings are in line with the reality in the field and can actually be used here.”