Friday, 22 July 2011

Residential Care Transformed: an accolade

The recent book by Julia Johnson, Sheena Rolph and Randal Smith has been awarded the newly established British Academy Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize. The prize will be awarded biennially to the author of what the Academy judges to be a piece of outstanding work with policy relevance and academic merit, on a topic falling within one or more of the fields to which Townsend made a major contribution - poverty and inequality, ageing and the lives of older people, disability, or inequalities in health.

In this book Julia, Sheena and Randal revisit Peter Townsend's classic study of residential care in England and Wales, The Last Refuge, published in 1962. With the help of a hundred older volunteer researchers, they traced what happened to the 173 homes that Townsend visited. They also revisited 20 of the surviving local authority, voluntary and private homes so as to compare them then and now. The book includes some previously unpublished photographs from the Peter Townsend Collection which when set beside those taken in the early 21st century illustrate not only continuity and change in residential care but also in visual representations of older people.

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