Many social services departments operate “ageist” policies by
limiting the amount they spend on care packages for certain age
groups, according to a new report on age discrimination.
The report, by the health policy think-tank The King’s Fund, also
reveals that it is common practice for councils to have a system of
automatic review when any package of care reaches a “trigger” level
For example, as residential care for older people is cheaper than
for younger disabled people, older people are more likely to be
pressured into accepting it, the report says.
“Residential care was too often seen as the best option on cost
criteria rather than on the basis of individual needs and
preferences,” said report author Ros Levenson.
The report suggests that discrimination can be seen in the lack of
residential care for older people who are mentally ill, care which
is comparatively expensive.
But the report emphasises that ageism is often subtle and indirect.
Buildings that are hard to access physically, lower referral rates
for treatments and early hospital discharge without appropriate
support are common examples.
– Auditing Age Discrimination: A Practical Approach to Promoting
Equality in Health and Social Care, from www.kingsfundbookshop.org.uk