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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Care of the Elderly - UK

85 NOT OUT: A STUDY OF PEOPLE AGED 85 AND OVER AT HOME

A. Tinker et al

Kidlington: Anchor Trust, 2001

Older people do not receive adequate information about sheltered housing and about ways to get improvements and repairs carried out. They, and their carers, need to know more about services and their limitations. Health and social services are at present targeted at those at greatest risk of being placed in residential care. This has left other, less dependent older people anxious because they feel their needs are not being met.

ACROSS THE HEALTH-SOCIAL CARE DIVIDE: ELDERLY PEOPLE AS ACTIVE USERS OF HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL CARE

K. Roberts

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 100-107

Article discusses several ways in which elderly people may assume an active role when using welfare services. Findings are presented from a study that explored the experience and behaviour of elderly people on discharge from inpatient care with regard to criteria indicating user influence and control, i.e. participation, representation, access, choice, information and redress. It appeared that, although contact points were more easily defined for health care, elderly clients were more likely to exercise choice and act independently in securing social care. It is suggested that social care needs and appropriate service delivery are more easily recognised than making the link between perceived health care needs and appropriate services. In addition, it appeared that informal and private providers are more widely available for social care. Making health care more accessible does not seem easily attainable due to its monopoly provision and the lack of direct purchasing power by potential users.

ASSESSMENT REASSESSED

M. Johnson

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 5, 2001, p. 183-185

Calls for an improved means of uniformly assessing, on an individual basis, the needs of older people resident, or likely to become resident, in long term care homes in the UK, relating needs to practicable and achievable standardised actions or care plans.

CARE HOME WOMAN, 89, LAUNCHES HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION

A. Frean

Times, May 11th 2001, p. 4

Flossie Hands, a resident of a care home, is launching a legal challenger under Human Rights Act against Birmingham City Council for failing to protect her right to life. She argues that the council's plans to transfer its care homes to an independently run trust could endanger her health as it might require residents to be moved.

CARE HOMES FOR OLDER PEOPLE: NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS

Department of Health

London: TSO, 2001

The national minimum standards for care homes cover:

  • choice of home, covering information given to prospective residents;
  • health and personal care, ensuring that dignity is respected at all times;
  • complaints and protection;
  • environment, ensuring that all residents live in a safe, well maintained environment;
  • staffing, including proper training and employment checks;
  • management and administration;
  • daily life and social activities, providing greater choice over daily living arrangements, including bedtimes and mealtimes.

CARING FOR OLDER PEOPLE: A NURSING PRIORITY: INTEGRATING KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE AND VALUES

Standing Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Committee

London: Department of Health, 2001

Report identifies major deficiencies in the care elderly people receive in NHS hospitals. They are allowed to go hungry and thirsty, woken too early or left immobile and under-occupied for too long, and denied basic rights to privacy and independence. Their psychological, mental health and rehabilitation needs are often ignored.

CHOICE STEPS

J. Barrow

Roof, May/June 2001, p. 12

At present older people living in privately owned supported housing in Scotland have no choice of service provider and no regulatory control over cost and quality. Article discusses how two pieces of legislation in the pipeline may improve their position.

CREATING BED ROOM

G. Pascoe

Health Service Journal, vol. 111, May 3rd 2001, p. 28-29

A review of hospital discharge arrangements in one Health Authority showed that elderly patients were sometimes waiting in acute beds for six months for residential care to be sorted out, and 10% of al all beds in the acute hospitals were occupied by patients ready for discharge. The HA used winter pressures money to top up social services funding for residential home places and has bought intermediate care places in homes. The number of patients waiting for discharge in consequence fell from 280 in Summer 2000 to 60 in January 2001.

"FEE LEVELS ARE LUDICROUS" SAYS CRAEGMOOR BOSS

F. Richardson

Caring Times, May 2001, p. 6

Argues that the fees paid by local authorities to purchase beds in residential homes are too low. Local authority payments to care home operators have been increasing by less than 2% every year, while costs have been increasing by as much as 10%.

FRAMEWORK MARKS ASSAULT ON AGE DISCRIMINATION

S. Wellard

Community Care, no. 1367, 2001, p. 10-11

The National Service Framework for Older People has been widely welcomed by social care professionals. Article discusses its proposals for rooting out age discrimination and for a single assessment process across health and social care.

FREE NURSING CARE IN NURSING HOMES

N. Grant

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 5, 2001, p. 186

The NHS Plan states that from October 2001 nursing care in nursing homes will be paid for by the NHS, while personal care will continue to be the responsibility of the client or local authority, subject to means testing. Article assesses the implications of these changes for nursing care funding and regulation.

GOING CONCERNS

C. Wheal

Guardian. Society, May 2nd 2001, p. 2-3

Private and voluntary residential care homes for the elderly are closing down due to inadequate levels of payment for state-funded residents and the costs of upgrading facilities to meet new minimum standards.

NEW RULES WILL CHANGE FUNDING SYSTEM

P. Spiers

Caring Times, May 2001, p. 8

Briefly outlines the changes in funding arrangements for long term care being introduced by the Health and Social Care Bill. Covers the three-month property disregard, free nursing care and the loan scheme.

PREVENTION: DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK FOR CONCEPTUALIZING AND EVALUATING OUTCOMES OF PREVENTIVE SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE

M. Godfrey

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 89-99

Prevention, particularly with regard to older people, has assumed increasing importance in policy in recent years. However there is a paucity of research on outcomes of preventive services in social care. In part this reflects a lack of clarity on the meaning of prevention and the kinds of outcome criteria that are appropriate to evaluate effectiveness. Paper suggests that a route through this confusion is to locate prevention within a dynamic model of successful ageing, linking structure and agency. This relates the experience and meaning of loss in ageing to processes of adaptation by the older person. These in turn are mediated and constrained by the resources available to individuals and the cultural and socio-economic context in which they are situated.

A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT

A. Zataar

Health Service Journal, vol. 111, Apr. 19th 2001, p. 26-27

A study of emergency referrals to GPs and hospital accident and emergency departments from nursing homes found that most were appropriate. The most usual reasons for referral were chest infections and changes in medication. Referrals were fewer than five per month per nursing home. Protocols for emergency referrals could improve consistency of care.

WORK HARD, SAVE FOR YOUR OLD AGE - AND BE ONE OF BROWN'S NEW POOR

M. Portillo

Times, Apr. 23rd 2001, p. 16

The Labour government has increased the tax burden on the poor through indirect taxation and dependence on means-tested benefits. In contrast, the Conservatives would abolish taxes on saving and dividend income, allow people over 65 to keep an extra £2,000 of their income tax free, and abolish the requirement for pensioners to use the whole of their pension fund to buy an annuity at age 75.

WATCHING OVER QUALITY

J. Smith

Registered Homes and Services, vol. 5, 2001, p. 180-182

Reports interview with Anne Parker, Chair of the National Care Standards Commission. She is looking for economies of scale in the local operation of the inspection process and is seeking to develop a more consistent quality of regulation and to build a national database to map the health of the sector in terms of both quality and supply.

WHEN A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME

Age Concern

London: 2001

Catalogues the housing problems of older people and offers a ten point plan for their solution. Proposals include:

  • improved advice on housing options;
  • speeding up the application process for Disabled Facilities Grants;
  • the establishment of at least one home improvement agency in every local authority area;
  • development of befriending and support services for older people living alone;
  • expansion of the network of Energy Advice Centres.