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Care and financial fragility
Care for ageing populations has been seen as a major economic burden, but also as a promising venue for financial investment – attracting a range of private equity firms, hedge funds and real estate investment trusts. This talk draws on empirical research in the UK. I discuss the division of labour that occurs as nursing homes are transformed into more liquid financial assets. Investors have sought to standardise care properties to make them more calculable and profitable. Such standardisation imposes more labour on those who work and live in these spaces, generating tensions and risks. A further major shock to the sector has come in the form of the covid-19 pandemic, which has taken a devastating toll on care homes. Findings from new collaborative research shed light on the financial impacts of the pandemic on care homes across the UK. What are the future prospects for these investments and alternative approaches to financing care?
Amy Horton is a lecturer in economic geography at University College London. Her research examines the political economy of care and support for older people. She is the co-investigator on ‘Understanding the financial impact of COVID-19 on the UK care home sector – implications for businesses and the workforce’. Previous research has examined the influence of financialised business models on working conditions and the built environment for care in England, as well as the approaches of trade unions and community organisations to valuing care in both the UK and US.
Lecturer, department of geography, University College London