Modelling social care provision in an agent-based framework with kinship networks

Gostoli, U. and Silverman, E. (2019) Modelling social care provision in an agent-based framework with kinship networks. Royal Society Open Science, 6(7), 190029. (doi: 10.1098/rsos.190029) (PMID:31417710) (PMCID:PMC6689582)

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Current demographic trends in the UK include a fast-growing elderly population and dropping birth rates, and demand for social care among the aged is rising. The UK depends on informal social care—family members or friends providing care—for some 50% of care provision. However, lower birth rates and a greying population mean that care availability is becoming a significant problem, causing concern among policy-makers that substantial public investment in formal care will be required in decades to come. In this paper, we present an agent-based simulation of care provision in the UK, in which individual agents can decide to provide informal care, or pay for private care, for their loved ones. Agents base these decisions on factors including their own health, employment status, financial resources, relationship to the individual in need and geographical location. Results demonstrate that the model can produce similar patterns of care need and availability as are observed in the real world, despite the model containing minimal empirical data. We propose that our model better captures the complexities of social care provision than other methods, due to the socioeconomic details present and the use of kinship networks to distribute care among family members.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gostoli, Dr Umberto and Silverman, Dr Eric
Authors: Gostoli, U., and Silverman, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Royal Society Open Science
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN (Online):2054-5703
Published Online:17 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Royal Society Open Science 6(7):190029
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU14