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

Can welfare-rights advice targeted at older people reduce social exclusion?

S. Moffatt and G. Scambler

Ageing and Society, vol. 28, 2008, p. 875-899

This paper reports on a small qualitative study into the effectiveness of welfare-rights advice for men and women aged 60 or more that was provided through a local primary healthcare service. Additional financial and non-financial resources were obtained by accessing previously unclaimed state welfare benefits. It was found that these significantly improved participants' quality of life. It is concluded that a level of material resources above a bare minimum is necessary to maintain social relations, access services and engage in civic activities, and can reduce social exclusion among older people.

Combating elder abuse: the role of guardians for older people in residential care

B.E. Cox

Journal of Adult Protection, vol.10, May 2008, p. 33-37

The author proposes that guardians should be appointed to represent the interests of individual older people in residential care, to protect them from abuse and neglect. He argues that legal relations between guardians and their wards could be modelled on a combination of agent-principal and trustee-beneficiary relations. Guardians, acting as agents/trustees, would then be able to intervene on behalf of a resident at any point in the care process where their legitimate needs were not being met.

Responding to the shifting demographics and expectations of older people

J. Belcher

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 2, 2008, p. 315-321

By 2020 there will be 11.2 million people aged over 65 in England, a 17% increase on numbers in 2008. These older people were born as part of the post World War II baby boom generation which has caused major social change and they are expected to demand better and more flexible services than their forefathers. This paper describes how Anchor Trust, Britain's biggest not-for-profit provider of residential and nursing care, is responding to this generation's ever-increasing demands.

Sex in the middle ages

A. Gullard

Community Care, July 31st 2008, p. 24-25

Increasing numbers of older people are sexually active outside marriage and are contracting venereal diseases. Certain groups are more vulnerable than others to sexually transmitted infections: gay men, men who use prostitutes, and women coming out of long-term relationships. Social workers need to use their communication skills and oblique questioning techniques to tease out any concerns older clients may have about their sexual health.

The significance of welfare benefit issues in the development of extra-care sheltered housing

B. Bessell

Journal of Care Services Management, vol. 2, 2008, p. 334-342

This paper shows how a disabled elderly person who owns a modest home, and has no income other than a state pension, but who qualifies for attendance allowance, may well be able to buy and live comfortably in extra-care sheltered housing as an alternative to being admitted to residential care. In extra-care sheltered housing, they would be able to retain both their independence and their financial assets, principally represented by the value of their home.

To-morrow's world: telecare

S. Sadler

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 14, 2008, p. 294-295

Telecare is about effectively monitoring and managing risks to older people and others with long term needs through a set of sensors placed discreetly around the home. It raises an alert if assistance is required, ensuring more timely care. Local authorities are using telecare to transform social care delivery. This article looks briefly at future developments.

Undiagnosed, untreated, at risk: the experiences of older people with depression

Age Concern, 2008

This report claims that two million pensioners with depression are not receiving treatment because doctors believe that feeling low is an inevitable part of ageing. It also accuses parts of the health service of failing older people by offering counselling and other treatments for depression only to those of working age. One in four over-65s is thought to have symptoms of depression, 22% of men and 28% of women.

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