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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2006): Care of the elderly – UK

Direct payments

P. Scourfield
Working with Older People, vol.9., Dec.2005, p.20-23

Direct payments were first introduced in 1996 to allow local authorities to make cash payments in lieu of services to people eligible for community care.  Article reports findings of research carried out among older people and care managers which investigated attitudes towards direct payments.  Results show that some older people are uncomfortable with the responsibility of arranging their own care.  They need proper information at the appropriate time and ongoing support in facilitating decisions and managing risk.

The EQUAL Project

L. Thompson
Working with Older People, vol.9, Dec. 2005, p.35-38

Describes how the project has used European Union Social Fund money to support community outreach activities in sheltered housing schemes.  These include skills sharing, use of sheltered housing facilities as a safe learning environment, mentoring, and use of community volunteers within the scheme.

Explaining about … sheltered housing and the single assessment process

P. Huntbach and J. Alexander
Working with Older People, vol.9, Dec. 2005, p.8-11

In the context of sheltered housing, authors explain the benefits of connecting health, housing and social care services through the single assessment process and the person held record.

Heating funds, but no council tax payout

F. Archer
Daily Telegraph, December 6th 2005, p.4

The Chancellor’s pre-budget report fails to maintain the help with council tax payments provided for pensioners in the pre election budget but continues the annual winter fuel allowance until 2010.  Help with the costs of insulation and central heating installation is extended beyond pension credit recipients for the first time.

Intermediate care:  connecting housing and health

C. Wilmot
Working with Older People, vol.9, Dec. 2005, p.16-19

A range of housing providers now offer intermediate care facilities on their schemes and estates, working in partnership with health and social care services.  Article introduces Hanover Housing Association’s “Up&About” intermediate care service.

Pensioners’ council tax may be capped to end protests by elderly

P. Wintour
Guardian, December 12th 2005, p.11

A possible national cap on pensioners’ council tax payments may follow prison sentences for older people protesting about rises which have far exceeded average pension increases.

Someone to expect each day

M. Cornes and J. Manthorpe
Community Care, Dec.8th-14th 2005, p.36-37

Evaluation of a pilot intermediate care programme run by Help the Aged showed that clients were positive about their experiences.  There was evidence that practice was person-centred and multi-disciplinary, and that independence and active aging were promoted.  However, people are only entitled to six weeks intermediate care, and evidence emerged that this is insufficient for recovery.  Some kind of low level continuing care is required to sustain improvements.

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