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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2010): Care of the elderly - UK

The age of opportunity? Revisiting assumptions about the life-long learning opportunities of older people using social care services

T. Hafford-Letchfield

British Journal of Social Work, vol.40, 2010, p. 496-512

In early 2008, the government launched a national inquiry on the future of informal adult learning, revisiting debates around the nature of life-long learning for older people. This paper makes links between these debates and discourses in social policy and social care about the promotion of active ageing, independence and social inclusion. Both are concerned with increasing participation, citizenship and social justice for older people. Social workers play an important part in facilitating learning opportunities within their relationship with older people. Where and how these might be used to promote more inclusive strategies and approaches within practice for the engagement and further emancipation of service users is explored.

Bringing dementia out of the shadows for BME elders: a report on the Ethnic Minority Dementia Advocacy Project (EMDAP)

Advocacy Plus Dementia Advocacy Network

Working with Older People, vol. 14, Mar. 2010, p. 12-15

In this article Advocacy Plus presents the findings and recommendations of their 2009 report which examined the impact of dementia on black and minority ethnic communities, their attitudes towards the disease, the cultural barriers that prevent effective help, support and advocacy, and the gaps in current service provision


M. Samuel, V. Pitt and N. Valios

Community Care, Mar. 25th 2010, p. 18-25

A survey of people working in dementia care has shown that: 89% of respondents believe that dementia is too small a priority for government; 66% think that the dementia strategy for England has had little or no impact in their area; and 42% say that the quality of dementia care in their area is poor. Experts, including Alistair Burns the new national clinical director for dementia, then give their views on what priorities should be for improving dementia care. Finally, there is a report on implementation of one of the dementia strategy's central policies: ongoing information and advice for people with the condition from a network of dementia advisers and experiments with peer support.

People with dementia living in extra care housing: learning from evidence

R. Dutton

Working with Older people, vol. 14, Mar. 2010, p. 8-11

Extra care combines independent housing, communal facilities and flexible levels of care. This article presents some of the key messages from research on the suitability of extra care housing for people with dementia. It also identifies areas where research evidence is sparse or non-existent.

Social work with older people

A. McDonald

Cambridge: Polity, 2010

The book provides an authoritative and practical guide to working with older people in a range of settings. It addresses the complexities of individual work with older people, as well as work with families, groups and the wider community. The book begins by explaining the demographic changes that have led to a 'greying' of the general population. It goes on to discuss the diversity in experiences of ageing across society, and the range of issues which confront older people and those who wish to work proactively with them. Attention is paid to the processes of assessment, care planning and review, with readers encouraged to reflect on developing good practice through case studies and exercises. Although it has a strong practical emphasis, the book also stresses the value of theoretical perspectives, with insights from fields such as sociology and psychology woven throughout. Clear links are also made to policy guidelines and organizational standards, without losing sight of the deeper, often more complex, issues that arise when working with older people.

The relationship between dementia and elder abuse

C. Owens and C. Cooper

Working with Older People, vol. 14, Mar. 2010, p. 19-21

This article reports research on the extent of abuse of older people with dementia by family carers. Most family carers participating in the study reported some abusive behaviours and a third reported significant levels of abuse. It is concluded that any policy for safeguarding vulnerable adults must consider strategies directed towards families who provide the majority of care for older people, rather than exclusively formal carers.

Things can only get better

V. Pitt

Community Care, Apr. 1st 2010, p. 26-27

This article examines the prospects for key objectives of the National Dementia Strategy covering:

  1. good quality early diagnosis and intervention
  2. improved community personal support services
  3. an informed and effective workforce
  4. a clear picture of research evidence and needs
  5. improved quality of life in care homes.
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