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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2004): Care of the Elderly - UK

EARLY RECOGNITION OF AND RESPONSES TO DEMENTIA: HEALTH PROFESSIONALS' VIEWS OF SOCIAL SERVICES' ROLE AND PERFORMANCE

J. Manthorpe, S. Iliffe and A. Eden

British Journal of Social Work, Vol. 34, 2004, p.335-348

The article discusses the impact on social services of increasing calls for the early diagnosis and treatment of dementia. Early diagnosis may lead older people and their carers to turn to social services for advice, information, services and support. Social services may be unable to respond to requests for low-level, preventative services as their normal focus is on supporting people with high levels of assessed need. They may also receive increasing referrals from health professionals in the expectation that they will provide financial and legal advice, and monitoring through home care. These expectations may be unrealistic due to the disappearance of traditional home help services.

INSIDE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PRACTICE: CHALLENGES FOR SINGLE ASSESSMENT

M. Cornes and R. Clough

Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. 12, Apr. 2004, p.3-13

The article argues that the "single assessment" of the health and social care needs of older people in fact boils down to better "channels of communication" between separate assessments by health and social care professionals. It could more aptly be called a unified assessment, aimed at bringing together all relevant information when care and treatment decisions have to be made. Results of an ethnographic study suggest that in practice health and social care professionals are mistrustful of each other and interact mostly for the purposes of buck passing or referral.

SENIOR MOMENTS

J. Young and D. Sturdy

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 10th 2004, p.26-27

Most general hospital users are older people. Standard 4 of the National Service Framework for Older People aims to transform hospital care for this age group. Unfortunately, most hospitals are focusing on one aspect of standard 4, such as improved nutrition or bed sore prevention. Their approaches are too fragmented to improve the whole hospital experience. Investment in staff training and education is needed to achieve the necessary cultural change.

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