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"Assess the success of the' community care' policies over the last two decades in providing for the long-term needs of the elderly."

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Introduction

"Assess the success of the' community care' policies over the last two decades in providing for the long-term needs of the elderly." Longevity has increased for both men and women during the course of the 20th century. Life expectancy at birth rose by over 28 years for females and 24 years for males between the years 1900 and 1980. Caring for older and more dependant people is therefore a major social policy issue nowadays. Although increased life expectancy is obviously a positive achievement, with it unfortunately comes the perception of being a burden. Many older people do want to feel that they are a burden. They want to live as independent a life as possible. The government introduced the Community Care Reforms, first described in a 1989 paper called 'Caring for People'. The NHS and Community Care Act 1990 made the necessary legal changes, which were fully implemented in 1993. This essay will aim to assess how successful the community care policies have been in meeting the main aim of elderly people and how much of a change the reforms have made to their everyday lives and what effect this will have on their long-term care needs. To do this, the essay will consider what problems existed in community care policy in order to bring about the reforms. ...read more.

Middle

The second objective is to provide support for informal carers. Most of the people who provide community care older members of society are the friends, family and neighbours of the individual needing help. Such people need recognition and support in order to continue caring. They may need financial help, and consideration of their own needs when assessments are being carried out. The White Paper first recognised the particular importance of informal carers in the role of caring for the elderly because of their long-term care needs. This is a central factor in assessing how the reforms have affected the long-term care needs of the elderly. Without family or friends or neighbours, many old people would find it impossible to stay in the community in their own homes and this is, after all, their main wish. The third objective is to make proper assessments of care and need. The packages of care should then be designed in line with the individuals needs. One of the major concerns leading to the Griffiths report was the large amount of public money being spent on residential and nursing home care without any assessment of needs. It was argued that many people in homes need not be there if the proper services were available in the community. ...read more.

Conclusion

The aim of developing community care for people at home have been rooted in the belief that people, especially the elderly, is preferred, desired and cheaper (believed, though not confirmed) than care in institutions. Whether or not all these changes succeed and continue to be a success depends pertly on the amount of money available to carry them out and on the availability of appropriate health care, housing and other factors. However, real success depends on the attitudes of the people involved. The changes are complex and are not always easy to understand. Community Care is constantly changing for all involved, including the elderly. For each individual person it is important to ensure that his or her community care jigsaw fits together as well as it possibly can. This means continuing to strive to make the practise of community care for each person match as closely as possible to the ideals. This, however, is an on going and never ending challenge. BILIOGRAPHY BALDOCK ET AL; SOCIAL POLICY; 1999; OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS VICTOR, C R; COMMUNITY CARE AND OLDER PEOPLE; 1997; STANLEY THORNES PUBLISHERS TESTER, S; COMMUNITY CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE, A COMPARITVE PERSPECTIVE; 1996; MACMILLAN PRESS LTD GROVES, T; COUNTDOWN TO COMMUNITY CARE; 1993; BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP MEREDITH, B; THE COMMUNITY CARE HANDBOOK, THE REFORMED SYSTEM EXPLAINED; 1995; AGE CONCERN ENGLAND Laura Duncan 98057758 BA Social Science Sociology of Welfare - Coursework 3rd Year Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

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