Call to let clients have say on risk

Social care services must “shift the balance” of risk to allow older people to take informed risks that would improve their quality  of life, inspectors have said.

In a discussion paper, the Commission for Social Care Inspection says approaches to risk must address the need to maintain independence as well as health and safety concerns.

It suggested that social work with older people and carers might need to be “redefined” to focus more on preparing people for the life changes associated with ageing, drawing on their experiences and “exploring their aspirations”.

And the role could be about more than arranging or brokering services, and may include working with people to identify, assess and mitigate risk.

CSCI chief inspector Paul Snell said: “People tell us that real choice means having real options, with the support to choose between them. Older people know that risk is a normal part of everyday life. What they don’t want is their dignity taken away by being denied the sort of choices open to all of us.”

Making Choices: Taking Risks

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