Journal Article

The Informatization of Welfare: Older People and the Role of Digital Services

Michael Hardey and Brian Loader

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 4, pages 657-669
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
The Informatization of Welfare: Older People and the Role of Digital Services

Show Summary Details


The informatisation of health and social care is a central element of the modernisation of welfare. This article seeks to understand how older people have been conceptualised during the complex process of informatisation. To do this an ideal type typology is used as a heuristic and way of engaging with the complexities of informatisation and policy changes. The typology gives rise to four models that are used to highlight the dilemmas and opportunities afford by different paths to the informatisation of health and care services. It is suggested that while informatisation may have facilitated the integration of services it has been accompanied by a marginalisation of older people as users. However, it is argued that the recent transition of the Web from version one (or Web 1.0) to a significant new version (or Web 2.0) and the consequent rise of user generated information may transform the role of the user in such systems.

Keywords: computer technology; information technology; older people; service integration; SAP; social policy

Journal Article.  4832 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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