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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2000): Care of the Elderly - UK

ALL OUR FUTURES

Better Government for Older People Steering Committee

Wolverhampton: Better Government for Older People Programme, 2000

Report sets out lessons from the Better Government for Older People Programme and makes recommendations. Emphasises the importance of working together with older people to gain a better understanding of problems and to produce more effective solutions. Makes recommendations in the areas of combating age discrimination, engaging with older people, improving decision making, improving social care and social security services, and promoting a joined-up approach.

THE COMMISSION'S VISION FOR ALL OUR FUTURES

D. Heptinstall

Working with Older People, vol.4, July 2000, p.14-17

Argues the case for free personal care for frail older people paid for out of progressive taxation, and explains the injustices and inequities that arise from alternative funding systems such as private insurance and use of assets.

CONTINUING TO PAY: CONSEQUENCES FOR FAMILY CAREGIVERS OF AN OLDER PERSON'S ADMISSION TO A CARE HOME

F. Wright

Social Policy and Administration, vol.34, 2000, p.191-205

Explores the consequences for two samples of relatives, adult children and spouses, who were the main family caregivers in the community for a dependent older person now resident in a care home. Currently spouses have a legal liability to contribute to a partner's care costs. The research reported here showed that the implementation of this liability depended on individual local authority policies and the views of the individual social worker doing the financial assessment. Because of the UK's means-testing rules, daughters and sons are often penalised because a parent's assets they might have inherited have to be used to meet the care home costs.

KEY PARTNERS FOR THE ELDERLY: PRIMARY HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

K. Rummery

British Journal of Health Care Management vol.6, 2000, p.312-315

The article examines how reforms have affected the delivery of primary care for the elderly. Health and social care professionals have in the past often failed to cooperate effectively with each other. The new challenges of collaborating among these professionals are considered, and ways to optimise such partnerships suggested.

THE LASTING VALUE OF CARE HOMES

H. Ross

Working with Older People, vol.4, July 2000, p.18-20

Article describes the difficulties and inequities currently faced by private care home owners.

LONG-TERM CARE POLICY CONDEMNED

Anon.

Community Care, no.1333, 2000, p.5

The government's rejection of the main proposal of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care for the Elderly - its call for funding of personal care - was widely condemned by charities and social workers. The government revealed that from October 20001 it will cover the costs of care provided by a registered nurse to people in residential and nursing homes. The costs of accommodation and personal care - everything other than the costs of a registered nurse's time - will still be means-tested.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: BETTER GOVERNMENT FOR OLDER PEOPLE EVALUTION REPORT

C. Hayden and A. Boaz

Coventry: Local Government Centre, University of Warwick, 2000

Report evaluates the Better Government for Older People pilot schemes. The evaluation shows that progress can be made by local partnerships in pursuing a strategic approach to older people and an ageing population. Recommendations include the establishment of a new national partnership body to promote ageing and older people's issues in the UK; passing legislation to combat age discrimination; and promotion of joined up government.

MINISTERS SET TO REJECT FREE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY

C. Gray

Independent, July 12th 2000, p.11

Reports that the government is likely to reject the Royal Commission on Long Term Care of the Elderly's recommendation that the state should fund personal care. It will, however, accept the cost of providing better support services for elderly people living at home.

NET GAINS

B. Randall

Housing, July/Aug. 2000, p.40-41

Article looks at how new technology could be used to prolong independent living for older people. Focuses on the Lifestyle Monitoring System developed by British Telecom. This system identifies any deviations from a normal pattern of behaviour that could indicate a problem.

THE NEW IT GENERATION

F. Rickford

Community Care, July 27th-Aug. 2nd 2000, p.18-19

Argues that greater use of assistive technology could enable frail elderly people to stay longer in their own homes.

OUR FUTURE HEALTH: OLDER PEOPLE'S PRIORITIES FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

Health and Older People Group

London: Help the Aged, 2000

Although older people are the largest group of users of health and social care services, neither the NHS nor social services are geared to meet their needs. Greater priority should be given to preventive services and support should be readily available to deal with the problems of ageing. Health and social services need to involve older people and take account of their experience and aspirations.

OUR PRESENT FOR THE FUTURE

Older People's Advisory Group

Wolverhampton: Better Government for Older People Programme, 2000

Provides a critical commentary on the Better Government for Older People programme from the perspective of the Older People's Advisory group. Recommendations include the development of a permanent structure for the participation of older people in policy making at UK, national, regional and local levels, and the inclusion of ethnic minority elders, disabled older people and socially isolated and poor older people within the policy making process.

POLICY AND PRIORITIES: THE CHALLENGES THAT LIE AHEAD

J. James

Working with Older People, vol.4, July 2000, p.11-13

Describes the development of continuing care for older people over the last 20 years and the policies of the present government. The challenges ahead include achieving co-operation between agencies and with voluntary bodies, establishing uniform standards across the country, using pooled budgets and providing flexible housing, safe environments and good transport systems.

PRIMARY CARE AND SOCIAL SERVICES: DEVELOPING NEW PARTNERSHIPS FOR OLDER PEOPLE

K. Rummery and C. Glendinning

Radcliffe Medical Press, 2000

Examines a number of pilot projects in the UK which have attempted to integrate social and health services by attaching a care manager to health centres and GP surgeries.

PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL CARE FOR OLDER PERSONS: LOCAL IMPACTS OF CARE IN THE COMMUNITY REFORMS

G.J. Andrews and D.R. Phillips

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 34, 2000, p. 206-222

Since the implementation of the NHS and Care in the Community Act 1990, residential homes have had to compete for a finite number of clients funded by limited local budgets. In consequence, many homes are facing financial difficulties. Paper considers the actions and attitudes of proprietors under these conditions, based on a three-stage survey in Devon. Results show that local social care markets have the potential to produce negative outcomes and, to some extent, the paper highlights a market failure.

REHABILITATION FUELS PRESSURES FOR REFORM

Anon

Registered Homes and Services, vol.5, 2000, p.34

Large numbers of older people stay in hospital longer than is necessary due to lack of investment in rehabilitation services and lack of integration between health and social care.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME

P. Thompson

Community Care, no.1334, 2000, p.25

The NHS and Community Care Act 1990 debarred local authorities from offering financial help to older people already in residential care when the Act came into force. This means that such people cannot get help from social services when their income support fails to cover care home fees. Government is planning to change the regulations to allow councils to help people in residential care homes in 2000 and those in nursing homes in 2002.

STEPPING STONES

B. Hitchins

Health Service Journal, vol.110, July 6th 2000, p.32-33

Presents case study of a joint health authority, trust and social services approach to developing intermediate care for older people in Wigan. The initiatives have had the commitment of top managers in the three organisations. Differing responsibilities have caused tensions in the partnerships but these have been overcome.

WHEN WE ARE (QUITE A LOT) OLDER

J. Robinson

Registered Homes and Services, vol.5, 2000, p.37-38

Looks at possible future developments in the care of the elderly in the light of the UK's ageing population. Predicts that there will be a demand for higher quality services operating within a mix of private and public provision. In the context of spiralling costs, rationing will continue as a means of controlling public expenditure.

WHO CARES?

L. Easterbrook

Community Practitioner, vol.73, 2000, p.674-675

Article examines options for funding long term care for older people. Identifies three issues, which, if tackled, might progress the debate. Firstly, the perverse incentives which push people towards residential care and away from home care need to be removed. Secondly, a measure of fairness, against which reform can be judged, is needed. Finally, better understanding of the mixed economy of care and its relationship to supply and demand is required.

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