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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2008): Care of the elderly - UK

The dignity challenge

E. Cass

Professional Social Work, Feb. 2008, p. 20-21

The Department of Health has launched a campaign aimed at creating a care system with zero tolerance of disrespect and abuse of older people. As part of the campaign, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is urging specific measures to ensure privacy and autonomy for older people, and efforts to improve communication and boost the self-esteem of the most vulnerable care users.

Elderly couples to stay together under care reforms

R. Prince

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 3rd 2008, p. 14

The Health Secretary has announced reforms at Labour's Spring Conference that will:

  • Enable elderly married couples to stay together when they go into residential care
  • Allow people caring for elderly relatives to work without losing benefit payments
  • Improve access to respite care
  • Provide a major extension of flexible working rights

Introducing nurse prescribing in a memory clinic: service user and family carer experiences

D. Page, G. Grant and C. Maybury

Dementia, vol. 7, 2008, p. 139-160

Nurse prescribing has become increasingly important in allowing nurses to assume more proactive roles in ways designed to promote better self-care and concordance with medication by service users. This article presents findings of an evaluation of the introduction of nurse prescribing at a memory clinic in Doncaster, based on triangulating the views and experiences of staff, older service users with normal to mild cognitive impairments,and family caregivers.

Out of sight, out of mind: social exclusion behind closed doors

Age Concern

London: 2008

Reports that the government's Link Age Plus pilots, designed to join up services for older people, have made slow progress in reaching the most disadvantaged. Calls for services for older people to be reshaped around the needs of the most severely socially excluded.

URL: http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Society/documents/2008/02/15/outofsight.pdf

Involving families in care homes: a relationship–centred approach to dementia care

B. Woods, J. Keady and D. Seddon

London: J.Kingsley, 2008

Families often wrestle with the decision to move a person with dementia into a care home. The decision can be highly charged and emotional, involving feelings of loss, sadness and guilt. This guide offers practical strategies for developing a good relationship between the family and the care home in order to ease the transition. Using case examples, quotations and research-based evidence, it offers good practice guidelines for supporting relatives who choose to be involved in the care of people with dementia living in a care home, as well as highlighting the value of this involvement. The book incorporates features such as checklists for reviewing current practices and summaries of key points for each chapter.

Restraints on fair care

M. Hunter

Community Care, Feb. 14th, 2008, p. 28-29

A Commission for Social Care Inspection report published in 2007 focused on the delicate issue of use of restraint in care homes for older people. Use of CCTV, electronic alarms or tagging devices in care homes treads a fine line between protection of residents and intrusion. A delicate balance has to be maintained between an older person's right to take risks and professionals' responsibilities to protect and keep them safe. This article points out that use of restraint in care homes is associated with insufficient staffing levels and lack of training in dementia care.

Review of strategies for charging service users for telecare

K. Doughty

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 1, Dec. 2007, p. 22-25

Most local authorities now offer a telecare service to people who are eligible for social care under Fair Access to Care Services (FACS). Others also offer telecare in a preventative mode to people with lower levels of risk alongside traditional community alarm systems. Results of a survey of 39 authorities across England showed little consensus on charging policies. Many had no charging strategy in place or planned to offer services free until their government grant funding ran out. Some authorities with more mature services had chosen to make telecare free to particular groups in the hope of reducing health or social care costs. Most had introduced charges in the range of £5.00 or £10.00 per week, indicating a generous subsidy from the council.

Services gap imperils care-for-all plan

C. Lovell

Community Care, Feb. 7th 2008, p. 10-11

The Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) has identified a sharp divide in the quality of life of older people who receive council support and those who purchase their own care packages. Older people who are not eligible for state-supported care rely heavily on informal carers or on voluntary organisations. Councils fail to provide adequate advice or information to help self-funders to purchase their own care packages. CSCI proposes that all older people should be assessed by councils and then given advice about services before funding is considered.

Telecare, telehealth and assistive technologies: do we know what we are talking about?

K. Doughty and others

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 1, Dec. 2007, p. 6-10

There is renewed interest in the UK in the role of community services based on technologies in enabling frail elderly people to remain in their own homes instead of entering residential care. This article discusses current definitions of the overlapping concepts of telehealth and telecare. It proposes introduction of a new term, Assistive and Remote Technology Services, to cover the full range of devices including functional support (such as robots), alarms, monitoring, and interactive and virtual services.

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