The Big Question

In light of the government’s campaign, what is the best way to achieve dignity in care for older people?

LEN SMITH – Gypsy activist
My culture gives older people a very high level of respect. We value them for their experience and wisdom, and never laugh at or bemoan their physical shortcomings or “accidents”. We always look up to them and don’t talk down to them. This attitude, if more widespread, would lead to a more dignified regime.

ANGIE LAWRENCE – Single mother
This campaign’s success depends on staffing and management, recruiting good carers, and training them well. The NHS is the worst culprit, although it’s not just older people who are rushed through their corridors before they have recovered. They should also be able to voice problems with their care without fear of retribution.

KERRY EVANS – Parent of two autistic children
It is impossible to legislate for this kind of thing. Caring and respect for clients are achieved through good recruitment, management practices and training. The Commission for Social Care Inspection fails to interpret the law to maintain dignity for disabled people. So why should it be different for the elderly?

RICHARD WEST – Inspired Services
We know that older people get a very raw deal when it comes to receiving services from their local authorities. For example the levels of abuse from some care staff, let alone support to do ordinary things like go to the local pub! This is a major problem for the government – the lack of respect and support show to older people.  It’s a human rights issue.


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