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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2003): Care of the Elderly - UK

COUNCILS VIE TO RUN HEALTHCARE FOR ELDERLY

J. Sherman

The Times, May 19th 2003, p.2

Britain's best councils would take charge of hospital care for the elderly under proposals discussed with Ministers. Local authorities would be given the entire budget for elderly healthcare and commission hospital care from the NHS but would have an incentive to provide cheaper alternatives in the community. The aim would be to speed up discharges from hospital and, wherever possible, prevent admission in the first place.

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

C. Glendinning

Community Care, May 8th-14th 2003, p.40-41

Reports results of recent research on what independence means to older people. Independence was associated with being in control of choice and delivery of support. Independence was threatened by lack of information about services and poor transport links. There was also agreement that too little low level preventive help was available to these whose problems were not yet severe.

AN ESTIMATE OF POST-ACUTE INTERMEDIATE CARE NEED IN AN ELDERLY CARE DEPARTMENT FOR OLDER PEOPLE

J. Young, A Forster and J Green

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 11, 2003, p.229-231

It is anticipated that intermediate care services for older people will be established throughout England. This study aims to estimate the numbers needing this service. It follows the admission of older, acute patients into an elderly care department of a district general hospital and looks at the numbers needing rehabilitation once they are medically stable.

HIGH COSTS LEAD TO RECORD NUMBER OF UNPAID CARERS

M. Frith

The Independent, May 8th 2003, p.6

Census results show five million people in England provide free cost care for friends or relatives. The rising numbers of elderly people and the high care of nursing and care-home accommodation mean more people than ever are looking after others.

HOME TRUTHS

K. Williams

Health Service Journal, vol.113, May 15th 2003, p.28-30

Discusses the contribution home improvement agencies can make in preventing hospital admissions and delayed discharges of elderly people. Presents a case study of the work of Care and Repair South Gloucestershire, a home improvement agency managed by Hanover Housing Association.

IS THERE A FUTURE FOR THE INFORMAL HOMECARE OF OLDER PEOPLE IN A CHANGING SOCIETY?

C. Smith and others

Quality in Ageing, vol. 4, Apr 2003, p.12-21

Research investigated attitudes towards the informal care of older people, differences between men and women in their willingness to undertake certain aspects of care, and whether the age of the respondent was likely to be a defining factor. The majority of women in the study demonstrated a greater willingness than the men to provide care for a dependent older relative. Age was a significant variable with people aged 40-59 being more willing than those aged between 20 and 39. Respondents anticipated that they would have difficulty dealing with confusion and dementia. Personal, intimate care was also seen as a major stressor because of embarrassment.

LOOSE CONNECTIONS

V. Davey and M. Henwood

Community Care, May 15th-21st, 2003 p.40-41

Reports research on the scale of integrated or joint commissioning by health and social services of care for older people. Found that most activity in this field focused on the integrated or joint commissioning of intermediate care services. Found evidence of progress towards more coherent and integrated approaches, but this was far from complete.

MAKING UP FOR LOST TIMES

R. Winchester

Community Care, May 1st-7th 2003, p.32-34

In its early stages, dementia can now be treated by a range of new drugs, but people are often diagnosed too late to benefit from them. They are also often forced to pay for their care, as health authorities apply rigid criteria and label many people's health needs as social care. Health care is provided free by the NHS, but social care is means-tested and recipients are expected to contribute.

MOVING ON FROM COMMUNITY CARE

L. Easterbrook

Age Concern, 2003

Provides an up-to-date guide to changes in legislation since 1993 and their impact on services to older people. Chapters cover:

  • key legislation, case law, and developments in health, housing and social care;
  • systems for paying for care, and how to access services;
  • communicating with users and carers;
  • regulating services and protecting users.

NATIONAL SERVICE FRAMEWORK FOR OLDER PEOPLE: A REPORT ON PROGRESS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES, 2003

Department of Health

2003

Key findings are:

  • intermediate care beds increased by 3,300 between 1999/2000 and December 2002 (target is an increase of 5000 by 2004);
  • single sex sleeping accommodation is provided by 98% of NHS trusts;
  • in the last two years the proportion of people over 75 delayed in hospital beds fell from 13% to 8.9%;
  • the proportion of hospitals with specialist stroke units rose from 45% to 73% between 1999 and 2003;
  • the number of people receiving intensive home care rose from 72,300 to 77,400 between 2000/01 and 2001/02;
  • uptake of flu immunisation among the over 65s increased to 68% since 2001;
  • direct payments to older people doubled between 2001 and 2002.
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