Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (November 1999): Care of the Elderly - UK

CARE OF ELDERLY PEOPLE: MARKET SURVEY 1999

Laing and Buisson

London: 1999

Community care reforms and tight eligibility criteria are combining to drive down the number of elderly and disabled people in residential care. In April 1999 there were 480,000 people living in nursing or residential homes and long-stay hospitals compared with a peak of 512,000 residents in 1995.

DOBSON SET TO GIVE ELDERLY THREE MONTHS' FREE CARE

R. Bennett

Financial Times, August 20th 1999, p. 1

Dobson is poised to reject the central recommendation of the Royal Commission on Long Term Care, which called for free personal care for the elderly regardless of wealth, with a means test to cover living costs. Instead, the elderly will be given three months free nursing and residential care before being faced with the prospect of selling their homes to pay for it.

ELDERLY ARE NO LONGER POOREST OF THE POOR

A. Frean

Times, Sept. 14th 1999, p. 7

Reports results of research showing that the average income of pensioners rose by 70% in real terms between 1979 and 1996/97 to reach £229 per week after housing costs. In 1979, 47% of pensioners had income in the lowest fifth of national income distribution, but by 1995/96 this had almost halved to 24%. The proportion of pensioners reliant on means tested benefits fell from 57 to 40% over the same period. The challenge for the government now is to find ways to increase the income of the 30% of pensioners living in poverty without wasting money on the rest. The solution proposed is to means-test the state-pension and top it up with income support payments made automatically to those who qualified for them.

HARNESSING GREY POWER

B. Randall

Housing, July/August 1999, p. 32-33

Article examines initiatives by local authorities and health authorities to develop preventive strategies to help older people remain fit and independent.

'MY NEEDS LIST FOR 2025'

J. Smith

Working with Older People, vol. 3, July 1999, p. 20-22

Argues that clients of residential care homes of the future will require:

  • privacy;
  • space for entertaining;
  • a drinks cabinet;
  • space for personal possessions.

PROMOTING WELL-BEING: DEVELOPING A PREVENTIVE APPROACH WITH OLDER PEOPLE

Kidlington: Anchor Trust, 1999

Research looked at what local and health authorities in England are doing in the development of preventive strategies. Concludes that the value of investing in prevention needs to be judged not only by quantitative reductions in expenditure on other services, but also by improvements in quality of life and independent living as perceived by older people and service professionals. Preventive approaches need to draw upon a range of organisations, professionals, communities and older people. They should promote quality of life in general, not simply focus on preventing admission to hospitals or institutions.

THE ROYAL COMMISSION AND STRUCTURES FOR ELDER CARE

C. Vellenoweth

Managing Community Care, vol. 7, August 1999, p. 3-7

Paper argues that the Royal Commission's proposal for a National Care Commission could be the missing link to equity of care provision and standards for older people, and early implementation should not be lost.

TORY PLEDGE TO HALVE SAVINGS TAX

P. Newton

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 14th 1999, p. 2

Reports a pledge by the Tories to halve the basic rate of tax on interest from savings and introduce new financial incentives for people to insure against long-term illness in old age.

(See also Financial Times, Sept. 14th 1999, p. 8; Independent, Sept. 14th 1999, p. 2)

WATCHDOG TO POLICE HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY

P. Waugh

Independent, Sept. 8th 1999, p. 7

Reports government proposals to improve residential care homes by introducing:

  • a 'bill of rights' for residents, including the right to privacy while bathing and dressing, the right to wholesome meals and a guaranteed room size;
  • an independent commission to regulate homes, with powers to fine or close homes which fail to meet standards.

(For comment see Guardian, Sept. 9th 1999, p. 7)

Search Welfare Reform on the Web