Models of Caring from India and Australia and Their Relationship to Social Capital

When caring is linked to social capital, it is generally assumed that the nature of the relationship is that social capital is a resource that can be used for care work (Beaudoin and Tao, 2008; Jeppsson-Grassman and Whittaker, 2008). When there is inadequate funding of aged care services by the State, the social capital may be seen as a substitute for economic and human capital. Caring, therefore, is seen as a drain on capital, whether it be economic or social capital. However, this does not have to be the case. Aged care services, if thoughtfully designed, can not only consume social capital but also generate it. Examples from India and Australia have revealed some models of elder care which specifically address the generation of social capital. The analysis presented in this paper shows how the key elements of social capital are addressed in each model and assesses their strengths and limitations for community building.
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