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FYC6 When I'm 84

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A short presentation summarising the findings of my 2008 research on older people, care workers, and dignity in home care.

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FYC6 When I'm 84

  1. 1. Feed Your Curiosity 6: “When I’m 84…” Louise Reeve Newcastle City Council / Newcastle University [email_address]
  2. 2. “ When I’m 84…” <ul><li>UK population is aging: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More people aged over 65 than under 16 in the population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some projections suggest that the proportion of the population aged 65 and over will rise from 21% in 2001, to 25% in 2050. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projected 60% rise in people aged 85 and over by 2027. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Newcastle, there are 41,300 people aged 65 and over – 15% of the total population (Census mid-year estimate). Of this group, 5,700 are aged 85 and over. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ We are voyaging into a new realm of </li></ul><ul><li>human life that has hardly existed </li></ul><ul><li>before, and about which we know very </li></ul><ul><li>little.” (Guy Brown, The Guardian , discussing </li></ul><ul><li>the rise in the number of people aged over 85.) </li></ul><ul><li>April 2007 : Newcastle Older People’s </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy - “Everyone’s Tomorrow” – </li></ul><ul><li>a broad focus on the needs of the older population. </li></ul>Policy Response
  3. 3. How best to respond? <ul><li>Challenges and changes : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing older population with very diverse needs, including more people in the “older old” age bracket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aging “baby boomers” – expect choice and independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pressure on resources – more people needing care and fewer younger taxpayers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunities does this trend offer? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Response : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The end of retirement as we know it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006 : Dignity in Care Campaign launched </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007 : “Putting People First” ministerial concordat on personalisation: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In the future, we want people to have maximum choice, control, and power over the support services they receive.” </li></ul></ul>Policy Response
  4. 4. My findings: What older people want from home care <ul><li>“ Understanding what dignity in care means to older people is an essential part of the Dignity in Care campaign”. (Everyone’s Tomorrow) </li></ul><ul><li>I interviewed five older people in Newcastle who get care at home and five care workers from the in-house Care at Home service. </li></ul><ul><li>My main findings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both groups agreed that a vital part of dignified care was “ dignity as empathy ”. This means taking the time to put yourself in the place of the other person. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They agreed that it was also important to respect older people’s autonomy . This is especially important when care is being provided in someone’s own home. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both groups said that the one thing they would wish for is for care workers to have more time with the people they care for. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Invisible labour ”: the work done by care workers in building up good relationships with their clients, in which mutual understanding can flourish. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What does this mean? <ul><li>Think about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>how we want to define dignity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What training care workers receive on dignity. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we ensure that policies and strategies recognise the importance of “invisible labour” given the limitations on the resources available with which to provide care? </li></ul><ul><li>Four questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do older people need? (What are their “intangible” needs?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What services are out there to meet those needs? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to ensure that these services are working together to meet people’s needs in the most efficient and effective way? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And, thinking more widely – how can younger people be brought into this discussion? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>What does “being old” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is going to provide care in future? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Who’s going to provide your care? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who’s going to pay for it? </li></ul><ul><li>- How will you pay for it? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul><ul><li>Preparing for our Aging Society: </li></ul><ul><li>www.dwp.gov.uk/opportunity_age/preparing/ </li></ul>

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