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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2006): Care of the elderly - UK

Being “In Control”: individual budgets for older people in West Sussex

J. Goldingham

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.19-23

The aim of the West Sussex pilot project is to improve the lives of older people and their carers by giving them access to individual budgets based on entitlements, which are determined by levels of need, and to support and empower them to identify and develop their own creative ways of meeting needs within current resources. This article reports on the responses of clients, social workers and care managers to the scheme.

Bringing well-being and choice into everyday home care

C. Patmore

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.24-27

Well-being and customer-directed services are a constant theme of the White Paper on community services, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say. This research investigated what enables some home care providers to give older clients personalised extra help, which supports their morale and well-being. Personalised care can be provided by: 1) allowing customers to sometimes change the purpose of a care visit; 2) commissioning time for excursions; and 3) helping older people to buy valued services privately.

Explaining about … prevention is better than cure

S. Wait

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.8-11

The Citizen’s Contract is a ten step guide to encouraging people to lead healthier lives. It was developed by the Alliance for Health and the Future and launched in 2006. It was developed in response to a growing body of evidence that suggests that being chronically ill in later life is not an inevitable consequence of ageing, but more often than not the consequence of unhealthy lifestyle choices. People must learn to take responsibility for their own health.

Housing and health: working together

V. Jellings

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.37-39

Home improvement agencies are a recognised part of the preventative services jigsaw and enable older homeowners to remain safely in their own accommodation instead of going into residential care. The charity Care and Repair England is training health and social care professionals to identify and refer eligible older householders to home improvement schemes.

Partnerships for Older People Projects: “developing services to engage, enable and empower older people”

R. Kaur

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.28-30

One of the key goals of the White Paper on community services, Our Health, Our Care, Our Say, is to encourage a strategic shift towards provision of preventative services with earlier intervention. Partnerships for Older People Projects (POPP) launched by the Department of Health in 2004 is one example of how the aim of promoting investment in preventative services is being delivered. The POPP programme is investing £60m in the establishment by local councils of innovative pilot schemes that provide integrated preventative services for older people across the whole spectrum of care.

Quality: whose responsibility?

J. Smith

Caring Times, Oct. 2006, p.14

This article discusses why poor quality care is so prevalent in residential homes. It highlights problems of underfunding and lack of assertive action by the regulator, the Commission for Social Care Inspection. It concludes that standards could be improved if the sector consulted more carefully with service users and their families.

Securing good care for older people: taking a long-term view

D. Wanless

London: King’s Fund, 2006

Large sums of money are spent on social care for older people in England, but it is unclear whether this spending achieves the government’s desired aims of promoting choice, independence and prevention. Budgets for social care have mostly been based on historical allocations and subject to competing local demands. Little allowance has been made for long-term funding requirements, despite pressures of an ageing population and an increase in chronic health conditions. This report sets out the findings of a Review of social care for older people in England commissioned by the King’s Fund. It consists of three parts:

  • Part 1 looks at the demographic, economic, social, health, and other relevant trends that are likely to affect the demand and supply.
  • Part 2 identifies the financial and other resources required to ensure that older people are able to secure the care they need.
  • Part 3 considers a number of options for funding the services required. Some general principles are set out, a variety of funding systems are put forward, and the most promising options assessed in detail.

Sure Start services for older people

M. Hollywood

Working with Older People, vol.10, Sept. 2006, p.31-33

The government has announced its intention of adapting the Sure Start model of integrated service delivery originally developed for children and families to meet the needs socially excluded older people. The Social Exclusion Unit is currently running a pilot programme called Link-Age Plus to test out the Sure Start for older people initiative. This article explores how sheltered housing could contribute to the development of the new services.

A sweeter palliative

Y. Gunaratnam

Community Care, Sept. 28th- Oct. 4th 2006, p.36-37

This article discusses findings from a new project on experiences of terminal illness and care among minority ethnic elders, carers and health and social care professionals. It highlights the ways in which social work can support the care choices of older people from ethnic minorities.

Time to care? An overview of home care services for older people in England

Commission for Social Care Inspection

London: 2006

The evidence in this report supports the conclusion that services for older people have become too narrowly targeted and should be made available to a wider group. To achieve this, councils need to find ways of harnessing the different kinds of support available to people within communities. The provision of extra help for informal carers is likely to be a high priority. Future models of planning and delivering services must ensure that older people can choose what kind of help they receive, when they receive it and who provides it. This involves service providers thinking of the individual as the customer, rather than the council. In many cases it will involve the actual transfer of budgets to older people so that they can purchase their own support packages.

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