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Friday, October 01, 2010

Older People with High Support Needs want more Choice and Control in How they Live their Lives

A new paper has been published today (to coincide with International Older Person's Day) by the National Development team for Inclusion (NDTi) to share findings from a two year project which is aiming to increase the voice, choice and control of older people with high support needs. This includes older people living in care homes and those living at home with a lot of support.

Around 1 million older people live in residential care and sheltered / supported housing. Older people want to have a broad range of options for their care and support, yet there seems to be widespread reluctance to develop and adopt new ways of thinking about and working with older people with high support needs. Traditional forms of service provision still dominate. As our society ages, the way we think about ageing, older people and disability needs to change to reflect with this demographic reality and the expressed wishes and desires of older people themselves.

The paper is from a 2 year project taking place in 3 local authorities in the South East Region of England. Local organisations and communities are working together to ensure options and opportunities are developed which support independent living and increase voice, choice and control for older people with high support needs. (See notes to editors for more information on the project and NDTi). The project is supported by ODI as one of the commitments in the Independent Living Strategy, which states:

Older disabled people must have the same options and opportunities for independent living as anyone else and the Strategy contains a number of commitments which will help achieve this goal.

The paper is :

- 'South East Regional Initiative on Increasing the Voice, 
Choice and Control of Older People with High Support Needs - Emerging Lessons'.

It summarises the findings to date from this project and has been written particularly to inform local authorities and partners about the work, to help them to achieve better outcomes for older people as well as best value in the use of public services and resources.

The paper highlights findings and messages about the priorities for ensuring older people can exercise greater choice and control over their support, including where and how they live. It also identifies some of the issues and barriers which get in the way of this happening.

A summary of the paper has been produced as an 'NDTi Insight' - part of a series of 2 page highlights of the most important learning from pieces of work carried out by NDTi.

This is available at the NDTi website on the following links:


Alternatively try: http://snipurl.com/181twm

Helen Bowers, Head of the Older People and Ageing Programme at NDTi and author of the paper said:
"The same level of commitment given to transforming health and social care is now required to transform expectations and experiences of older people with high support needs across all public services, including in residential care. Current debate in this area tends to focus on funding pressures and extending traditional services, rather than how we conceptualise, design and deliver support that promotes citizenship and transfers power from professionals and organisations to individuals, their families and friends."
To find out more, contact:- Helen Bowers, Head of Older People & Ageing Programme, National Development Team for Inclusion Magnolia House, 21a Stour Road, Christchurch, BH23 1PL Tel. 01220 471423 helen.bowers at ndti.org.uk
Rob Greig, Chief Executive, National Development Team for Inclusion - Head Office, Montreux House, 18a James Street, West Bath, BA1 2BT Tel: 01225 789135 rob.greig at ndti.org.uk

My source:
The Choice Forum

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