Brexit and social care: are we underestimating the threat

BERNARDBlog written by Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK

There is much speculation at present about the likely impact on social care of the Government’s forthcoming Budget, Local Government Funding Settlement, Spending Review and Green Paper – assuming the latter ever gets published that is. But amidst the discussion about all these things are we at risk of overlooking something else? Namely, the threat posed by ‘Brexit’ to the provision of care in this country? This question is particularly pertinent after the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) produced a report a couple of weeks ago, suggesting that low skilled workers from the EU should no longer have any preferential rights to come to this country post Brexit[i]. In an earlier report the MAC said that they considered care workers to fall into this low skilled category, placing a big question mark over their contribution to care provision in this country in future[ii]. It is worth adding at this point that Age UK believes the MAC got this badly wrong: care workers may be low paid but that is not at all the same as saying they are low skilled.

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Technology in care – the future is here, now!

WCS New photography, Four Ways House, Warwick 25 April 2016Blog written by Ed Russell, Director of Innovation and Delivery, at WCS Care.

I still remember how my career in care started over 26 years ago – my first shift was on New Year’s Day in 1992, a few months before WCS Care officially began life and took over the homes from the local authority.

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Grasping the nettle: lessons for the social care green paper

JLau-RasilaMehta-4057

Blog written by Mike Birtwistle, Founding Partner, Incisive Health

By 2068 there will be an extra 8.6 million people aged 65 or over living in the UK, with over-65s making up 26% of the population. With more of us living longer and many people having one or more long-term conditions, more people will need access to long-term care. How will a social care system that is in crisis, respond?

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Who cares for those without carers?

John, who lives in a cold home

Blog written by Kirsty Woodard, Founder of Ageing Without Children.

Last month, the Social Market Foundation and Age UK published “Caring for Carers” examining the demographics and experiences of people providing unpaid care. Contained within it is one of the most challenging but still strangely unheralded problems facing social care now and in the future, namely – who will care for the growing numbers of older people who lack family to support them? By 2030, 2 million people will be aged over 65 without ever having been parents while still more will be unable to look to their family to support them for a variety of other reasons including estrangement or distance. The number of older people with disabilities who live alone and have no child is projected to increase rapidly, rising by nearly 80 per cent between 2007 and 2032 to 370,000. This represents a significant challenge to health and social care services that rely extensively on spousal and adult child care.

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Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) – a chance to fix a broken system?

Gary Beckwith photographed for Age UK, 51 Bristow Road, Wallington, Surrey, CR0 4QQBlog written by Alison Trew, Public Affairs Officer, Age UK.

The Mental Capacity (amendment) Bill will reach committee stage in the House of Lords next week. This Bill, which focuses on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), will have an impact on one of the most profound of our human rights, the right to liberty.

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The time is now right for a UN convention on the rights of older persons

-2934This week in New York City, older people, government representatives, human rights organisations and NGOs from around the world, will meet for the 9th time to discuss the human rights of older people. More specifically, the purpose of this meeting is to consider whether it is time for the international community to have a Convention on the rights of older persons.

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Why we should all be encouraged to talk about death and dying

This week (14th-18th May) is Dying Matters Week, a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement.

We all seem to find it difficult to have conversations with people we love about death and dying. It brings up uncomfortable emotions so we tend to shy away from it.

Talking about death often feels like a taboo subject in our society.

Yet all of us will experience the death of a loved one at some point in our lives and talking more openly can often make it seem less scary.

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