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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Care of the elderly - UK

Creature comforts

N. Valios

Community Care, Jan. 22nd 2009, p. 26-27

Research shows that older people who are allowed to keep their pets when moving into residential care make a smoother transition. On the other hand, those who have to give up a pet to go into care suffer feelings of bereavement similar to losing a family member. However, only 29% of care homes routinely allow pets.

Dementia plans: high hopes but who will pay?

C. Santry

Health Service Journal, Feb. 19th 2009, p. 12-13

This article reports reaction to the new dementia strategy for England. There are concerns about its affordability, given that the government has promised only 150m of extra funding over two years. This may be insufficient to cover the costs of a network of memory services, recruiting and training specialist staff, and providing more access to rehabilitation for patients.

Governing old age: the 'case-managed' older person

S. Pickard

Sociology, vol. 43, 2009, p. 67-84

This article reviews old age policy and practice in the UK since the 18th century. Policy discourses around old age have mutated from one in which it was synonymous with poverty to one in which it was synonymous with dependency to one in which it is increasingly synonymous with risk. The author then applies a Foucauldian approach to the examination of contemporary case management practices designed to manage older people 'at risk' of hospital admission. She focuses on the role of experts in the 'making up' of case managed older people, together with the response of the latter to being thus 'case managed'.

Living well with dementia: a National Dementia Strategy

Department of Health

2009

The strategy calls for:

  • A publicity campaign to reduce anxiety and promote understanding of dementia
  • The establishment of memory clinics in every town
  • GPs to be given extra training to diagnose the condition in its early stages
  • The appointment of advisers to help dementia patients access health and social care services.

However there is no commitment of extra funding for research into dementia, which has disappointed many charities.

Remember me

E. Dent

Health Service Journal, Feb. 5th 2009, p. 20-22

There are an estimated 600,000 people in the UK with dementia, and this number is expected to double in 30 years. Lack of knowledge among primary care staff and patients' complex needs mean that the condition often goes unmanaged in the community. However, increasing understanding, the launch of the new dementia strategy for England, and inclusion in the NHS operating framework mean that dementia may now receive the investment and attention that it needs.

'That lot up there and us down here': social interaction and a sense of community in a mixed tenure UK retirement village

S. Evans

Ageing and Society, vol. 29, 2009, p. 199-216

There has recently been a boom in the development of retirement villages in the UK. Recent schemes tend to comprise a mix of various tenures, including rented, privately-owned and shared-ownership properties. This is partly a response to criticisms that retirement villages are only a realistic option for the well off. This paper presents the findings of a study of social interaction and perceptions of community among residents of a mixed tenure retirement village in England. The research found limited evidence of social interactions across tenures and some examples of lack of tolerance and conflict. In particular, the clustering of tenures appeared to emphasise differences in the socio-economic backgrounds of residents, and the overall village layout created additional physical barriers.

Workforce skills are key to dementia care

D. Lombard

Community Care, Feb. 12th 2009, p. 10-11

According to the national dementia strategy, by 2014 services are expected to be able to support early diagnosis and intervention, and to enable everyone to 'live well with dementia'. However, there is a major skills shortage in the social care workforce which will have to be addressed if targets are to be met.

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