Exploring the Potential for the Development of Care Co-operatives to Support Older People to Age Well at Home

Meeting the care needs of an ageing population presents a significant challenge for Irish society. This research, conducted in collaboration with Age Action Ireland, explores the potential to develop co-operatives to provide care services and support independent living and healthy ageing in the community. Co-operatives are organisations that are owned, governed and operated by service users and producers. They offer an opportunity for older people and their families to shape the design and delivery of services, thereby empowering care recipients and improving their experience.

Aims and objectives
  1. To assess the level of interest among stakeholders in establishing homecare co-operatives in Ireland
  2. To identify the practical and policy supports needed to facilitate establishment of co-operatives
  3. To explore how existing knowledge and expertise, within communities and the co-operative sector, can be leveraged to support the development of co-operatives.

The research involves engagement with a range of stakeholders, including people aged 55+ who have insights into caring for older people and/or have an interest in planning for their own future care needs.

Keywords: Eldercare, Co-operatives, Co-production, Homecare, Agency in older age, Care policy.


Webinar on the potential of the co-operative care model to support older people to age well at home, UCC, 23 June 2022.  Speakers: Dr Carol Power, UCC; Aoife Smith, Great Care Co-op; Emma Back, Equal Care Co-op, UK.  Discussion panellists: Mary Murphy, Age Action Ireland; Darragh Walshe, ICOS; and Michael Harty, Homecare Direct.  The event was co-chaired by Dr Caroline Crowley and Dr Carol Power.

Webinar Recordings

CO-AGE Webinar

CO-AGE Interview

CO-AGE webinar highlights (companion document to webinar recordings)

Funder and Project dates 

This project has been funded by the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations Programme from December 2021 - April 2023.


Dr Carol Power (PI) Centre for Co-operative Studies, Cork University Business School; email


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30