Misunderstanding home: Exploring depictions of home in old age policy decision-making

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Jutta Pulkki
Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen


Living at home is a core value in old age policies worldwide. This study examines how members of parliament (MP) depict the home in two parliamentary discussions related to a law on older people’s care and living arrangements in Finland. The data contained 110 speeches from 42 MPs in the first discussion and 17 in the second and was examined using thematic analysis. The extracts with the word “home” were coded and grouped as potential themes. These themes were reviewed further and reflected using relevant literature. As a result, the overarching theme ‘home as a restricted space’ was formulated with three subthemes: home as a space in which old people ‘manage to live’, ‘are treated’ and ‘live without contacts’. The findings suggest that policymakers misrecognised the valued attributes related to older persons’ homes, and in doing so, they hamper the potential for success in home-centred old age policies.


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