Guest blog: Time is now for people powered dementia care

This guest post was contributed by Ewan King, director of business development and delivery, at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

“I am doing something worthwhile. I am earning my bread again”. This is what Brian, who has dementia, said about how his life has changed for the better as a result of directly shaping the care that he and others receive. He is not alone in benefiting from being involved in decisions about care.

In England, it is estimated that around 676,000 people have dementia. This number is expected to grow over the coming years. And this comes at a time when there are severe cuts in budgets, particularly in social care. So what can public services do when more traditional solutions – such as recruiting more staff or expanding services – are not open to them? Whilst at the same time we know that people with dementia – and their carers – need person-centred holistic care and support, including high quality social care. Continue reading “Guest blog: Time is now for people powered dementia care”

Care cap delayed

The implementation of a lifetime spending cap on the amount an individual would spend on care was a flagship of the former coalition government’s social care policy, and a manifesto commitment for the present government. However implementation of the spending cap, originally intended for April 2016, has now been delayed until 2020. This means after the next election, so this delay raises considerable doubts about whether the cap will ever be implemented at all.

Age UK supported the proposed spending cap in principle and still does, but as we have said before, the devil is in the detail. For example the Dilnot Commission on long term care funding, which thought up the idea of the cap, originally set the cap at £35,000- £50,000, which was carefully calculated to ensure that the less well off would benefit. This objective was undermined by the government’s decision to raise the cap to £72,000.

Now that details of the scheme have emerged – with draft regulations being published only just before the election – it has become clear that the top priority must be to stop the social care system that millions of older people depend on from collapsing in its entirety.The most urgent priority arises from the current situation where cash strapped local authorities have restricted care to the point where over a million older people who are unable to carry out at least one vital activity of daily living without difficulty (for example using the toilet, getting dressed) receive no care whatsoever. Continue reading “Care cap delayed”

Guest blog: Long-term care and support- how does it work in the US?

Older woman with carer

Age UK has been sharing a series of guest blogs with the AARP Public Policy Institute. Our latest post comes from Donald L. Redfoot, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor. AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organisation, with a membership of more than 37 million older people across the USA.

Even experts find it challenging to understand the United States’ fragmented system of providing long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults and people with disabilities. Those who need services are often utterly baffled. The following discussion is designed to help international observers comprehend US public policies designed to support people with LTSS needs. Continue reading “Guest blog: Long-term care and support- how does it work in the US?”

General Election Series: Health and social care high on the agenda at Age UK Rally

General Election rally
Age UK’s General Election Rally

This week’s blog from our General Election Series is a guest post from Mary, a campaigner from Norfolk, who came to our General Election Rally in London on Tuesday 24 March. 

With the Care Act 2014 coming into force on the first of April, we spoke to Mary, from Norfolk, about how the issues of health and social care dominated Age UK General Election rally on 24 March.

‘Last week, thanks to the efforts of Age UK, and along with 250 other  representatives of our older population, I was given the opportunity to both listen to and question senior politicians, including David Cameron, on their plans for older people’s services, should they be elected.

‘Other than applauding speakers on the triple lock, highlighting the need to retain universal benefits such as the bus pass, and voicing regret that today’s pensioners will not benefit from the new state pension, the bulk of the day’s discussions undoubtedly focussed on care and the NHS.  Continue reading “General Election Series: Health and social care high on the agenda at Age UK Rally”

Government announces care costs cap

This blog was contributed by Caroline Abrahams, Director of External Affairs, for Age UK. 

Last year’s White Paper and draft Bill make these encouraging times for social care, for decades a Cinderella service. What has been so obviously lacking though is the funding for a better system, so today’s announcement about the implementation of ‘Dilnot’ is a welcome step forward.

Unfortunately, implementation has to wait until April 2017, so very few older people living in a care home now will benefit, but at least some of those who come after them will: the Government estimates that 1 in 6 older people who need care will gain, but by just how much and over what timescale is hard to tell without detailed modelling which the Government has not (yet) released.

Continue reading “Government announces care costs cap”