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


Heather Fulford


International, national and regional policy documents and key reports espouse the rights of, and benefits to, people, of lifelong learning, yet little attention has been given to the learning needs of frail older people in nursing [care] home settings. People living in care have frequently been cited as a forgotten sector of the community and this is apparent when seeking to evidence the provision of learning opportunities when they enter into care. 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) was 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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Oct 31, 2020
Journal Maturitas
Print ISSN 0378-5122
Electronic ISSN 0378-5122
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 140
Pages 14-23
Institution Citation 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:
Keywords Healthy ageing; Care homes; Nursing homes; Learning; Lifelong learning; Social care