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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2005): Care of the Elderley - UK

After hospital, where next?

A. Taylor

Community Care, Oct. 20th-26th 2005, p.20

Research suggests that too many older people are being discharged from hospital straight into residential care. It is argued that some form of intermediate care and rehabilitation should be offered to all older people who need it on leaving hospital to give them more time to decide about where they want to live.

Facing the cost of long-term care: towards a sustainable funding system

D. Hirsch

Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2005

It has become clear that the UK lacks an adequate, coherent and fair basis for paying for long-term care for older people. As a result the services are already under strain, not all needs are being met, and the UK is ill-prepared to meet the challenges of population ageing. The report calls for: 1) improvements in the ways in which resources are allocated; 2) increases in public funding; and 3) improvements in the system of co-payments for care.

Home care services for people with dementia: case study for the Housing Learning and Improvement Network

J. Russell, L. Hovey and C. Fairlie

Housing, Care and Support, vol.8, Sept. 2005, p.17-21

Describes an innovative approach to provision of home care services to people with dementia in Poole, Dorset through a dedicated specialist team. The care assistants have particular expertise in supporting people with dementia, and offer a wide range of help, including:

  • Accompanying people for shopping, appointments, etc
  • Help with correspondence and paperwork
  • Assistance with preparing meals
  • Taking people out for a drive.

Housing and dementia care: a scoping review of the literature

L. O'Malley and K. Croucher

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.13, 2005, p.570-577

Paper reports findings of a scoping study designed to describe the UK evidence base with regard to housing provision for elderly people with dementia with the aim of identifying gaps in existing knowledge. The results reveal significant research gaps, especially in relation to end-of-life care for people with dementia and the effectiveness of integrated and segregated facilities. UK policy regarding the development of extra care housing also neglects the long term future of people with dementia.

Making home care for older people more flexible and person-centred: factors which promote this

C. Patmore and A. McNulty

Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, 2005

Alongside their basic care package, isolated older home care users need occasional flexible help to boost their morale. Research reported in this article investigated how home care services varied in their ability to provide such help and explored the reasons for the differences. Results showed that the attitude of local authority purchasers determined whether or not independent home care providers offered flexible help. Some authorities strictly limit their goals to supporting older people's physical well-being and safety and want no deviation from the tasks in the care plan.

Partnership working by default: district nurses and care home staff providing care for older people

C. Goodman and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.13, 2005, p.553-562

Paper briefly reviews what is known about primary healthcare staff who provide health care to older people in residential homes and then reports on two linked studies that looked at the particular contribution of district nurses to care home populations in two separate geographical areas (inner London and a shire county). District nurses reported difficulty sustaining relationships with care home staff, believed they were dealing with avoidable problems, and in many situations actively tried to limit their involvement. The majority of their work was defined by what care home staff were not allowed to do, or they acted as gatekeepers providing services and equipment care home staff could not otherwise access. The fragmentation of responsibilities and differences in ideologies, values and professional interests acted as barriers to effective partnership working.

Report puts spotlight on funding shambles

G. Hodgson

Caring Times, Oct 2005, p.6 - 7

Following publication of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's study "Facing the cost of long-term care: towards a sustainable funding system", this article reports on the UK care sector's response to the discussion paper. Comments from Age Concern and BUPA Care Homes are provided calling for, greater investment, clarity on who pays for what, and comparing UK government's head in the sand approach with that of other countries who are facing up to the demands of aging populations.

That little bit extra

C. Patmore and A. McNulty

Community Care, Oct.13th-19th 2005, p.36-37

Reports research which identified factors which empowered home care providers to supply flexible, comprehensive, person-centred help to older people. Positive influences included: managers supportive of the ideals of holistic care; presence of assistant managers who could intervene in crises or undertake time-consuming tasks; and assignment of regular care staff to clients.

A Vision for the Green paper

M. Hollywood

Community Care, Oct. 20th-26th 2005,p.42-43

Article argues that society should empower older people to choose the appropriate home environment that meets their needs as they age. Older people are not a homogeneous group: they go through several transitional stages between 60 and 90 plus. It goes on to call for better information provision to older people about available housing and care options. It also warns that the government's policy of promoting direct payments will increase costs as an army of bureaucrats will be needed to administer the system and support users.

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