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Welfare reform on the Web (July 2007): Care of the elderly - UK

Councils hike home care fees by third to balance books

S. Gainsbury

Public Finance, May 25th-31st 2007, p. 12-14

Public Finance has examined the 2007/08 budget details of 87 of the 150 local councils in England that provide social services. Almost a quarter are planning to increase the fees they charge elderly people for home care by more than 40%, and a third by more than 20%. Changes to means-testing policies also mean that caps on charges have been removed. The combined effect of these changes and the increase in the hourly rates mean that an average 11-hour care package will now cost £6,660 a year.

Health and quality of life among older people in rural England: exploring the impact and efficacy of policy

A. Milne, E. Hatzidimitriadou and J. Wiseman

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 36, 2007, p. 477-495

Despite the fact that older people constitute a significant and increasing proportion of the rural population of England, they remain absent from, or at best marginal to, the development and implementation of policy. They tend to exist “off-centre”, rarely the focus of policy, but routinely its recipients. The majority of policy is directed by a largely urban agenda. Rural issues are marginal to policy-making, and a lack of research evidence has compounded the invisibility of the rural elderly.

It's the little things

J. Burton

Community Care, June 21st 2007, p. 30-31

Many of the underlying fears associated with moving into a residential care home are associated with loss of identity. This article explores the challenges facing care home managers in maintaining residents’ individuality while conforming to national standards.

UK study into the abuse and neglect of older people

Prepared for Comic Relief and the Department of Health

2007

Based on a survey of around 2,000 older people, the researchers calculated that 2.6% of over 65s, or 227,000 people, had been abused or neglected in their own homes by family members, close friends or care workers. When the scope of mistreatment was widened to include abuse or neglect by neighbours or acquaintances the figure rose to 4% of over-65s or 342,400 people. The headline figures relate to what the researchers define as mistreatment, which includes neglect as well as financial, psychological, physical and sexual abuse.

When comparisons are onerous

B. Ferguson

Caring Times, June 2007, p. 10-11

Government policy emphasises the right to choice of residential care home, but relatives of elderly people are faced with a dearth of reliable and accessible information about the quality of local homes. The author calls on local councils to produce accessible guides comparing local care homes on price and quality to aid self-funders.

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