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

Ageing in East Asia: challenges and policies for the twenty-first century

Tsung-hsi Fu and R. Hughes (editors)

London: Routledge, 2009

Ageing populations present considerable challenges to welfare states internationally, and East Asia is no exception. Demographics show that countries in East Asia either have the highest proportion of older people, or the speed at which their population is ageing is faster than anywhere else in the world. East Asian countries have developed new policies to meet older people's needs - across health, social care, income maintenance, employment and housing. This book explores the causes and trends of population ageing in eight countries, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and discusses the challenges and impacts of population ageing on public policies.

Elderly have no care home rights

M. Beckford

Daily Telegraph, June 1st 2010, p. 6

The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed a claim by lawyers acting for Louisa Watts, aged 106, that Wolverhampton City Council risked her well being, breaching her right to life, by closing down the residential home where she had lived for five years. The Court said that the duty of authorities to respect the right to life does not mean that they have to ignore implications for their finances. If councils manage the transfer of an elderly resident to a new facility carefully, and there is no proof that their life would be shortened by any move, they are meeting their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Housing an ageing population: the value of information and advice

G. Burgess

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 13, Feb. 2010, p. 19-27

This paper discusses the housing-related pressures caused by ageing on individuals and on the public finances. It analyses the potential for information and advice to lead to both more empowering housing outcomes for older people and broader cost savings, drawing on an evaluation of FirstStop, a new national information and advice service. It also discusses the problems of funding this type of initiative, given the need to prove the value for money of publicly funded services in quantitative terms, when the benefits of information and advice are difficult to monetarise.

'It's about investing to save'

N. Valios

Community Care, June 3rd 2010, p. 26-27

Reablement services can help older people remain independent and delay entry into residential care. As such they are cost effective, but it may not be possible for councils to invest in such preventive services in the face of reductions to their budgets due to government spending cuts.

Why funding must be reformed

V. Pitt

Community Care, May 27th 2010, p. 24-25

Tight eligibility criteria and means-testing lead to many older and disabled people with less than substantial needs not receiving publicly-funded social care. Anticipated public spending cuts and population ageing will exacerbate the problem. A social worker, a disabled service user and a care home manager all call for reform.

Will older home owners use equity release to improve the quality of their lives?

R. Terry and R. Gibson

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 13, Feb. 2010, p. 28-32

If 'income-poor' older home owners could draw on their housing equity easily and with confidence, then they could afford practical help that would improve their quality of life and make it possible for them to continue to live for longer in their own homes. This article reports on three local authorities that are now piloting equity release schemes, and the plans for monitoring and assessing them.

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