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

Achieving a co-produced and personalised approach to enable people to live well with dementia: the strategic challenge for commissioners in health and social care

S. Rippon

Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 5, Sept. 2010, p. 10-13

There is an increasing emphasis in social care and health policy on service user involvement. Commissioners of health and social care service need to strengthen engagement and involvement of service users in addressing issues of service re-design and investment. Commissioners will also need to prepare for a growth in personal commissioning and more personalised care and support that may extend choice outside of established provision into options for people that are more about developing self-management, personal assets and social capital and support networks.

Broadening the dementia debate: towards social citizenship

R. Bartlett and C. O'Connor

Bristol: Policy, 2010

Dementia has been widely debated from the perspectives of biomedicine and social psychology. This book broadens the debate to consider the experiences of men and women with dementia from a sociopolitical perspective. It brings to the fore the concept of social citizenship, exploring what it means within the context of dementia and using it to re-examine the issue of rights, status, and participation. Most importantly, the book offers fresh and practical insights into how a citizenship framework can be applied in practice.

Can personalisation be a reality for older people?

C. Slasberg

Working with Older People, vol.14, Sept. 2010, p. 15-22

Personalisation of services for older people is the key to the future. It can result in improved levels of user satisfaction and lead to the most efficient use of limited resources. However, current national strategies carry a serious risk that personalisation will not happen for most older people. Making a reality of personalisation will require councils to commit to a programme of transformational change over and above delivering the government's performance targets. They will need to replace assessment and care management with support planning, change the currency of commissioning from outputs to outcomes, and ensure provider development.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and people with dementia: implications for social workers

S. Dwyer

British Journal of Social Work, vol.40, 2010, p.1503-1516

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) provide a framework that makes it lawful to deprive a person lacking mental capacity of their liberty in a hospital or care home in certain circumstances that require specific authorisation. This article focuses on the implications of the DOLS for older people with dementia. It is concluded that their reach is limited and they will not protect most of the people with dementia who lack capacity and enter care homes based on the decision of one professional after consultation with relatives. Older people who lack capacity and who are placed in care homes do not benefit from the same level of checks and balances as people sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Dialling up social care for older people

P. Fitzsimons

Working with Older People, vol. 14, Sept. 2010, p. 10-14

Growing numbers of older people in the UK experience loneliness and social isolation. This article describes the work of teleconferencing charity Community Network, which has pioneered the use of social telephony as a means of delivering social care. Social telephony adopts the concept and technology of telephone conferencing to provide telephone support and befriending groups for vulnerable and marginalised people.

The dying art

S. Gillen

Professional Social Work, Sept. 2010, p. 20-21

There are concerns that social workers are insufficiently involved in end of life care services in England. This article explores their potential role, and the training needed to fulfil it.

A 'home for life' in residential homes for older people in England: exploring the enhancers and inhibitors

D. Wild, S. Nelson and A. Szczepura

Housing, Care and Support, vol.13, May 2010, p. 26-35

Older people and their relatives want residential homes to provide care for life. However, as their health deteriorates, many residents are 'forcibly' transferred to nursing homes. This study examined three models for the improvement of care in residential homes, all of which aimed to provide a 'home for life' and to avoid transfer to a nursing home. Some evidence suggested that the ideal could be achieved by up-skilling care staff with the support of registered nurses. Factors that inhibited achievement of a home for life were largely outside the influence of homes, such as their ineligibility for funding to cover nursing care as a resident's health deteriorated.

End of life: the essential guide to caring

M. Jordan and J. Kauffmann

London: Hammersmith, 2010

Increasingly people realize that the care and arrangements for their own end of life are in their own hands. In addition, new government initiatives in respect of carers and caring and of dementia care are bringing the subject to the fore. This guide for carers, be they professional or friends and relations, provides information across a range of concerns surrounding end of life. It describes how appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure the dying person's wishes about dying and post-death (funerals or celebrations of life and mourning ceremonies) are carried out. From the practical point of view, the book covers making a Will, making an Advance Directive, donating body tissue and organs and giving directions for ones own funeral or life celebration and/or memorial service. From an emotional view point the book discusses grief including anticipatory grief, ways of coping with grief, and the importance of grieving.

In defence of those less qualified

V. Hickman

Caring Times, Sept. 2010, p.18

There is a chronic shortage of qualified homecare workers to support elderly people. This situation is unlikely to change given the low pay rates prevalent in the sector. Using unqualified staff could release skilled workers from routine tasks to undertake more complex work such as stem feeding and stoma/catheter care.

Increasing care options in the countryside: developing and understanding of the potential impact of personalization for social work with rural older people

J. Manthorpe and M. Stevens

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 1452-1469

This article examines the possible impact of the personalisation of care services on older people living in rural areas. It focuses on the development of personal budgets. The potential contribution that personal budgets, as a key strand of the personalisation agenda, could make to promoting greater independence and well-being in later life is discussed in the light of interviews with 33 representatives of professional, community and voluntary organisations. It is concluded that the long-term effects of personalisation need to be monitored and assessed to ensure equitable outcomes in rural areas. While there may not be significant differences between urban and rural areas, the rural dimensions of adult social care need to be more rigorously explored.

Is there more to supporting people within their own home than just providing telecare?

M. Orton

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 4, Sept. 2010, p. 20-24

Telecare offers the potential to enable frail older people to continue living in their home. However, it needs to be seen as one element within a care solution and a client-focused assessment approach that picks up on wider needs is required if better long-term outcomes are to be achieved. It is suggested that telecare needs to be embedded within the care pathway to enable it to become integrated and mainstreamed.

No sex please! We're over 50

P. Smith and others

Working with Older People, vol. 14, Sept. 2010, p. 40-43 Most sexual health promotion policy initiatives and resources are directed at young people, leading to the marginalisation of the sexual health needs of the over 50s. This article describes the development of a sexual health promotion campaign aimed at over 50s in Manchester.

Protection of vulnerable adults: an interdisciplinary workshop

M.R. Day, E. Bantry-White and P. Glavin

Community Practitioner, vol.83, Sept. 2010, p. 29-32 Government policy recognises that the risks of elder abuse and self-neglect are increasingly complex and growing problems in society. The complexity of cases can present many ethical challenges and dilemmas. This paper reports on the development, delivery, content and student evaluation of a comprehensive elder abuse and self-neglect workshop for public health nursing and social work students. The workshop provided an interdisciplinary shared learning experience for students to prepare them for their critical role in safeguarding vulnerable adults.

The role of telecare in overcoming social exclusion in older people

M. Jones and C. Rowbottom

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol.4, Sept. 2010, p. 54-59

There are concerns that increasing use of assistive technologies to support older people living independently in their own homes may lead to isolation and loneliness. This paper describes a number of ways in which the technologies can be used to improve the quality of life of service users through increased interaction opportunities. Many of these initiatives will rely on the use of the TV as the interface for accessing services and on a 24-hour monitoring centre for facilitating them.

Social policy for people with dementia in England: promoting human rights?

G. Boyle

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 18, 2010, p. 511-519

This paper seeks to explore whether social policy in the UK promotes the human rights of people with dementia. More specifically, it focuses on the role of recent legal reforms and key developments in social care policy - notably the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the 2009 National Dementia Strategy - in promoting liberty and self-determination, particularly a right to choose to live at home. The extent to which the National Dementia Strategy provides access to services and support which offer an alternative to institutional care is critiqued. While recent legislation has endorsed the right of people with dementia to liberty and self-determination, it is suggested that there is a lack of commitment on the part of government to providing access to the social care services that would enable them to exercise these rights.

Watchdog closes care homes over fears for 'the very basics of life'

D. Rose

The Times, 29th Sept. 2010, p.3

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) which is the regulator for health and social care services has said that over 100 care homes and home-help services were shut down, or closed voluntarily, last year. The CQC said it had uncovered cases where patients were bullied and psychologically abused. There have also been two cases in which illegal immigrants were found working as 'modern-day slaves'.

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