Local government relies too much on health and social care services
to support older people, new research concludes.
Local government needs to take a more holistic view of older
people’s needs when developing services and move away from engaging
them simply in terms of their health and social care needs, says a
series of reports published by Better Government for Older People
and the Audit Commission last week.
Involving them in leisure, education and transport would enable
them to play a greater role in local communities and would not
necessarily cost more, the reports say.
The researchers call on councils to work with other agencies and
service providers to develop an agreed agenda for improving older
people’s lives, and up-to-date information for them to make
informed decisions. Carers also needed to be provided with greater
support, including respite breaks, training, advice and emotional
support, they add.
Reports author Jane Carrier said it was “massively important” for
the independence of older people to “get them contributing to
A separate report by BGOP shows that while older people’s champions
within councils and the NHS are highly committed to improving
services, they are not always clear about how to do it. Their
ability to influence change depends on local support networks and
indicates the need to establish small groups to interpret central
government initiatives, the report adds.