Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Access to learning opportunities for residents in care homes: reviewing the challenges and possibilities.

Kydd, Angela; Fulford, Heather


Angela Kydd

Heather Fulford


International, national and regional policy documents and key reports espouse the benefits of lifelong learning and people's rights to it, yet little attention has been given to the learning needs of frail older people in nursing (care) homes. People living in care have frequently been cited as a forgotten sector of the community and this is apparent in the provision of learning opportunities. It appears that the learning needs of this population are largely ignored. This paper suggests that when the door of the care home is opened, the door to learning closes. The aim of this paper is to add to a small but growing body of literature on meeting the learning needs of people in long-term care. To investigate the topic, a scoping review of the literature (2002-2020) and a search of policy and key papers (1990-2020) were conducted. The results show a paucity of literature on the topic, which leads to the conclusion that many residents in nursing (care) homes are marginalised when it comes to furthering their learning requirements. This can be ascribed to limited resources in the care home sector but also suggests a form of ageism. The results show four themes that may contribute to designing a learning culture in care: Culture of learning vs culture of care; Learning vs recreational activity; Surviving vs thriving in care; and Outside vs care home communities. The paper concludes by recommending that links to community learning opportunities are vital for people in care to have their learning needs met.


KYDD, A. and FULFORD, H. 2020. Access to learning opportunities for residents in care homes: reviewing the challenges and possibilities. Maturitas [online], 140, pages 14-23. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 22, 2020
Online Publication Date May 26, 2020
Publication Date Oct 31, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 3, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 27, 2021
Journal Maturitas
Print ISSN 0378-5122
Electronic ISSN 1873-4111
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 140
Pages 14-23
Keywords Healthy ageing; Care homes; Nursing homes; Learning; Lifelong learning; Social care
Public URL


Downloadable Citations