Resources for Older People's Organisations in London
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The Family and Childcare Trust are pleased to release the Older People’s Care Survey 2016. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the availability of older people’s care, as well as the market awareness of local authorities and health and social care trusts across the UK. The findings highlight a number of key issues.

You can download the full report here. National and regional fact-sheets can be found here.

Key Findings

  • Only one in five funding authorities reported having enough older people’s care in their area to meet demand. Over 6.4 million people aged 65 and over live in those areas with insufficient care provision.
  • Just 7 per cent of councils in Outer London (one council) reported having enough care to meet demand in their area, while in the North East the figure is 57 per cent.
  • While 84 per cent of respondents in the UK said they had enough availability for care home places, that figure falls to 48 per cent for home care, 44 per cent for extra care homes, and 32 per cent for nursing homes with specialist dementia support.
  • 27 per cent of respondents reported having insufficient data about whether the supply of social care in their area could meet demand.
  • 88 per cent of local authorities in London were able to say whether their supply met demand, compared with just half of local authorities in the East of England.
  • The average weekly fee local authorities pay for all residential care types in the UK is £553.
  • The average price in Inner London is 40 per cent more expensive than in the North West (£649 vs £464).
  • Just 26 per cent of respondents were able to provide data on the rates that self-funders pay.
  • UK averages show that self-funder fees for all residential types are 20 per cent more expensive than local authority fees.

Recommendations:

  1. The Government should guarantee that there are enough care services available for people who need them. Where the private market is not meeting demand, local or central government should act as the provider of last resort.
  2. The Government should start an ongoing data tracking programme to measure whether there is enough social care for older people across the UK. A strong understanding of the local social care market is essential for central and local governments to be able to identify capacity issues and work to resolve them.
  3. The Government should provide local authorities with funding offers that are truly reflective of the higher cost of specialist services. Demand is likely to grow for specialist care as the population ages and people with high support needs live longer. As such, adequate funding from central government will allow local authorities to deal with current and future demand, as well as reducing pressure on NHS services. This funding settlement should be determined by robust evidence on the demand for social care services and cost of providing high quality care to meet this demand.
  4. The Government should provide funding to support upstream intervention services, such as domiciliary care, and extra care home schemes. These services can be effective in maintaining independence. Additionally, as they are more likely to slow the escalation of support needs, they may reduce market pressures in the long term. As the recent Barker Commission highlighted, there are still important opportunities to integrate health and social care funding to promote preventative care.
  5. The Government should provide workers with a mandatory right of up to 10 days of paid care leave per year. The challenge of balancing work and caring responsibilities can be financially and mentally stressful, and can cause carers to leave the workforce permanently. Paid care leave would enable carers to deal with emergencies, put necessary arrangements in place, and accompany those they care for to appointments, without using the annual leave necessary for their own wellbeing.
  6. Local Authorities should provide up to date information for families about social care in their area, including information on the cost of fees and third-party contributions. It is also important for older people and their families to have greater access to information about care in their area – what is available, and what people can expect to pay to support themselves or their relatives.
  7. In the long-term, the Government should seek to address the strategic challenge of reforming care and support funding. The Government is right to focus in the short-term on addressing immediate and unsustainable pressures on local authority social care budgets. The Government must, however, maintain its commitment to implementing the Care Act 2014 in full to support people to plan for, and meet the costs of, care in old age and protect people from unfair costs.

An ageing society presents both opportunities and challenges to businesses. The past stereotypes of older people’s purchasing patterns are becoming outdated as our marketplaces become increasingly sophisticated and diverse. Social change, globalisation, de-regulation and technological advances have changed the commercial landscape. Many older consumers feel left out or at least, left behind. Old values such as loyalty and personal relationships appear no longer to have currency. Our high streets are changing and the fast moving on-line market place, whilst comfortable for the younger consumer, may not be as welcoming to older consumers.

South East Age UKs and SEEFA – the South East England Forum on Ageing – have joined forces to examine:

  • How older consumers are disadvantaged and what barriers they face.
  • Why, given the scale of demographic change, older consumers don’t appear to be a high priority for business.
  • What does an ‘age friendly’ future look like? What may need to change?

Culminating in a Symposium at the Palace of Westminster, this high profile debate is intended to make a real difference to the way older people are viewed as consumers. The project will bring together experts with experience of later life, policy makers, stakeholders in the business world and research. We will make suggestions to policy makers and influencers for encouraging ‘all age friendly’ multi generational business approaches.

We’ll be starting things off with a joint South East Age UKs and SEEFA Policy Panel event on 31st October 2016 to develop the key issues to put to policy makers.

For further information please contact: Julia Pride: juliapride@gmail.com 07771941290

Positive Ageing in London and Age UK London have published a joint report looking at how older
people are shaping London boroughs’ work on the local economy. You can read the full report on PAiL’s
website. We found that in many boroughs, older people are not addressed as a specific group in
strategies on employment, volunteering, education and skills but tend to be addressed mostly as
recipients of health and social care services. Specific difficulties older people face in, for example,
the job-market, are also not adequately addressed by targets for ‘working-age’ populations. We
found promising initiatives in some boroughs and would like to see these being extended and
becoming more widespread.

It would be very interesting to hear if readers have comments either on the report, or more
generally on how older people are included in work to develop the local economy in London. If
you do, please contact Gordon Deuchars at gdeuchars@ageuklondon.org.uk.

Age UK London invites you to a policy seminar to discuss initial research findings from our Older Private Tenants Programme funded by the Nationwide Foundation. The seminar is intended for statutory and voluntary sector staff and others with an interest in improving support for older private tenants.  It will take place on 31 October from 10.00 – 13.00 at Age UK London’s offices. You can find out more and register via the event website.

Brexit and Social Care Report

October 5th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Age UK London | Brexit - (0 Comments)

Independent Age has produced a report on “Brexit and the future of migrants in the social care
workforce” which reviews future workforce shortages in adult social care in England to take account
of the EU referendum result.

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the proportion of European migrants
in the social care workforce. In the first part of 2016 alone, over 80% of all migrant care workers
who moved to England to take on a social care role were from Europe. Any restrictions to the
migration of European citizens would likely reduce the overall number of workers in the social care
sector, making it even harder to recruit and retain the necessary numbers of staff.
You can read the full report or an Executive Summary here.

The full report points out that Greater London is particularly reliant on migrant care workers with
nearly 3 in 5 of its social care workforce (59%) born abroad. This figure includes migrants from
outside the European Union.

Age UK has published a policy briefing on the possible implications of Brexit for older people.
Looking at areas like equality and human rights, health and social care services, state pensions,
private pensions, financial services, older British citizens abroad and older EU citizens in the UK, it
identifies a range of questions that will have to be answered if Brexit is to work for older
people.

A new report “Generation Stuck”  from the International Longevity Centre – UK looks at the benefits of and obstacles to older people downsizing to a smaller home. It is partly intended to counteract some reports suggesting older people are harming younger generations by selfishly “hoarding” housing. The title “Generation Stuck” refers to many older popele being essentially stuck in their present home because of various obstacles to downsizing which the report discusses.

While previous research has explored the extent to which older people live in under-occupied properties, this report informs the debate on downsizing in later life by providing new survey research on older homeowners’ actual experiences and expectations in this respect. Amongst the key findings are:

  • One in three homeowners aged 55+ (32.6%) are considering or expect to consider downsizing. This figure rises to nearly one in two of all homeowners aged 55+ (48.2%) when factoring in those who have already downsized (15.6%). This is therefore an area worthy of greater policy focus, while the current policy debate is focused almost completely on first time buyers and starter homes.
  • Lower maintenance was the most important reason people downsized or would consider it (56.0%).
  • Close to a third (29.3%) of those who had downsized or are considering it did or expect to to release more than £100,000 in equity. Purchases from one specialist retirement housing provider, McCarthy & Stone, allowed its customers to release almost £60,000 on average from each move, with 19% releasing more than £100,000.2 Together, these figures show that releasing substantial equity can be a reality when downsizing.
  • The most prevalent way that people did or will use the equity released from downsizing is to put it into a savings account (35.2% overall) or, for those aged 55-59, to put it towards a pension (34.0%).
  • Specialist retirement housing could have a major impact on freeing up a larger housing market, with nearly 3.5 million older people interested in downsizing and buying a retirement property.

The report calls for a number of policy reforms to encourage downsizing and moving in later life, focused on the categories of adequacy, affordability and awareness, and contributes to the growing public debate on the state of the housing market in the UK.

You can download the full report from the ILC-UK website

Lloyds Bank has published its UK Consumer Digital Index 2016 – the first of its kind. It explores consumers’ digital and financial capability and finds that for example, there are 13.1 million people in the UK (adults of all ages)  with low financial capability and 11.1 million with low digital capability, and 3.2 million people with low capability in both these areas. Digitally excluded people, the report suggests, could save £3.7 billion annually by improving their digital skills. Two thirds of digitally excluded people are aged 60+, and the report explores the reasons for this.

You can read the full report on the website.

The Healthwatch directory is a specifically tailored online service aimed at directly helping people in their search for health and support services around the City of London.

This unique and specialist service offers information on a wide range of facilities from local GP information to advice and support on money problems. The simple search buttons assists you in navigating around the website, allowing you to search your nearest dentists’, walk-in clinics and even the local gyms. The free service also provides you with up to date information, including accurate maps and handy web links directly to the relevant service.

What makes this directory different is that it is impartial and the directories only concern is offering the best information possible on the services that the City can provide. If you are concerned about your health and lifestyle, then it is easy to find the most appropriate information on healthy living and eating, as well as information on local sport activities that you can attend.

Instead of painstakingly searching individual services, the Healthwatch directory has all the latest information and links compiled into one easy to use, free online service.

If you find the Healthwatch Directory useful, then please share using the Share Button, and more people can benefit from this handy service!

You can visit the website here.

The Centre for Ageing Better recently launched a new website at www.ageing-better.org.uk which the Centre plans to use for emerging news about its work programme in the next few months.