[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 9, April 2012].
This report from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Oxford Brookes University and the Institute of Public Care (IPC) assesses the future developments needed in services for older people. It analyses the challenges facing elderly care, from rising demand caused by demographic changes (such as the dementia “demographic time-bomb”) and rising expectations for more proactive care for older people, but counter-balanced by present-day economic constraints. Areas identified as needing change include: effective community-based prevention; joint working between health and social care services; varied housing provision; availability of straightforward information, advice and access to services; and better support for carers.
The document re-assesses earlier ADASS research into the over-reliance on complex, acute care and the relative shortage of preventative, community-based provision. This discussion paper reviews ADASS’s 2002 “All Our Tomorrows: Inverting the Triangle of Care” publication in the context of the Health and Social Care Act, the government’s response to the Dilnot Commission on Care Funding, and the Law Commission report on social care law.
This document identifies the challenges remaining if a re-balancing is to work, and the interventions required from government. It emphasises the importance of the roles of government: i.e. investing more in social care; ensuring choice and control can work; reducing barriers to integration; incentivising community-based care and wellbeing services; and helping to change assumptions about old age.
Ways Forward for Local Partners
ADASS / IPC finally identify the following local challenges (with examples of ways forward) for local partners to explore in the delivery of services for older people. Quotation:
- Effective prevention in supportive communities which promote good health, wellbeing and involvement.
- Community health and care services working together to aid recovery and provide ongoing support to reduce the need for acute care.
- A range of different types of housing which allows people to remain at home as long as they wish.
- Good quality information and advice and straightforward access to health, care and support services.
- Better recognition and support for carers, particularly for older carers.
- Safe, good quality services from reliable and skilled people.
- Real choice and control over services which are fairly priced and affordable.
- Services which are effective, efficient and accessible when and where needed.
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (2012). The case for tomorrow: facing the beyond: a joint discussion document on the future of services for older people. London: ADASS, 2012. 23p.