Blog written by Angela Kitching, Head of External Affairs, Age UK
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill is in Committee in the House of Lords – unless you are an avid Parliamentary watcher, I doubt you’ve noticed. But public controversy is starting to rise about this Bill, which is about the important and hugely sensitive issue of the legal protection available for older people and adults who lack mental capacity but who it is considered need to be contained in a given place for their own safety and/or that of others. Older people who are subject to this legislation generally have dementia, delirium or some other cognitive health problem. The way this protection is offered by application for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS). The debate about this Bill is taking place against a context of worries about the current system, which has broken down, leaving many older people with no protection at all.
Continue reading “Protecting older people’s precious right to liberty: the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill”
After such a wet winter, a bit of sun may sound like no bad thing, but people often underestimate the effect of high temperatures on older people: the 2003 heatwave led to an alarming 22 per cent increase in mortality among people 75+ in England and Wales. So I was very pleased to be invited to a roundtable held by the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, as part of their Inquiry into Heatwaves: Adapting to Climate Change.
Continue reading “Heatwaves – a hot topic”
Like lots of people with an interest in social care I have been following the travails of Four Seasons over the last few days. For anyone not up to speed, Four Seasons is a major care home provider in this country, with some 17,000 predominantly older residents and 25,000 staff. Four Seasons is now reportedly in financial difficulty and the regulator of the social care sector, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has called for its biggest creditor to confirm that it will stand behind the company and not allow it to collapse. [Although it has since won a reprieve until April 2018, the uncertainty over its longer-term future continues].
Continue reading “What should we think about ‘the Four Seasons story’?”
Last week, Age UK launched its General Election campaign – Dignity in Older Age – which aims to tackle some of the key issues that millions of older people continue to face. Things like difficulties accessing the care and support they so desperately need, living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet, and facing a later life of loneliness.
Throughout the campaign we’ll be covering some of the issues in depth, this week we are focusing on the crisis in social care. In this article, Caroline Abrahams discusses how many older people in their 80s and above are currently being abandoned by the care system. Continue reading “The next Government must resolve the crisis that is engulfing social care, once and for all”
This guest blog was contributed by Gordon Cameron, Policy and Research Officer, at the Family and Childcare Trust.
Our new Older People’s Care Survey has found that four in five councils report not having enough care in their area to meet demand. That means over 6.4 million older people live in these places with insufficient provision.
Older people’s care is important to all of us. Good quality care supports older people to enjoy old age with comfort and dignity. When it is not available or not affordable it causes entirely avoidable suffering, creates stress and worry for families, and often forces people into an impossible balancing act to look after a loved one alongside other responsibilities. Continue reading “Guest blog: How shortages in care are failing older people”
This guest post was contributed by Kristen Stephenson, Volunteering Development Manager, at NCVO
The Volunteering in Care Homes’ Project was a three year pilot project funded by the Department of Health to evaluate the impact of volunteers on the quality of life of older residents in care homes. The evaluation showed a profound impact on the social and emotional wellbeing aspects of quality of life and quality of care for older residents.
- 96% of staff and volunteers reported a positive impact on the social contact that residents had
- 90% of staff and volunteers recorded that they thought volunteers had a positive impact on residents’ feeling of safety
- for relatives, additional eyes and ears contributed to their peace of mind
Continue reading “Guest blog: Volunteers improving the quality of life of older residents in care homes”
If you’ve ever made a massive purchase like buying a home or taken out a large loan or mortgage, as you picked up the pen to sign on the dotted line, you might well have had your doubts about whether you’d really read and understood all the small print. Moving into a care home is another one of those huge decisions, with major consequences if you get it wrong. So it’s just as vital to understand what you’re signing.
Yet moving into a care home is frequently a hurried and pressurised decision, which for many comes after a spell in hospital. People are often ill, facing the stress of living with new levels of disability and confronting the reality of losing their home, community and identity. Some will also have reduced mental capacity. At times like these reading the small print is often not a priority and, in any case, many people are faced with limited options so can feel they have no choice but to agree to the home’s terms and conditions. Continue reading “‘Stuck in the middle’ – Self funders in care homes”