May 01, 2014 -- Able Newsflash No.422

Care News

In 2014, the majority of our elderly population who need care receive their care from family members. However an increasing number of older people without children will not have the security of knowing that, should they need care, their family may well provide such care.

This, in addition to the increasing number of older people, will have a significant effect on the provision of care services in the next decade and beyond.

The Institute for Public Policy Research publishes the fact that by 2030 there will be two million older people without adult children.

Increasing pay for home care workers would not automatically lead to better quality services, according to a round-up of three recent and upcoming reports by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The paper notes that many people assume the low wages of care workers have a direct impact on the quality of care because low pay affects motivation, performance, recruitment and retention.

However, JRF’s research suggests the situation is more complex. "Although opinions differed, in general the experts we consulted said they did not think there was a simple situation where increased pay automatically led directly to increased quality."

While levels of pay can have an impact on employers’ ability to recruit and retain talented staff, working conditions are key to retaining them, the paper found.

"Valuing staff can be expressed in monetary reward, but this is just one part of the overall organisation’s relationship with staff and the general societal recognition of the value of care work.

"So, while pay is important, it is not sufficient in itself to address the issue of ensuring quality care. A care worker could be paid twice as much, but if working conditions remain the same, they would still not be able to perform to their best ability and sustain or improve quality."

It concludes that employers must adopt "intelligent approaches" to pay and progression, and consider ways to make staff feel valued, including offering benefits packages, training and supervision.

The round-up paper summaries the findings of an as-yet-unpublished Joseph Rowntree Foundation study that looked at staff pay, status and quality of care, as well as messages According to Skills for Care, in 2012 adult care workers were paid an average of 91p per hour above the (then) national minimum wage of £6.19.


Question of the Week

"I fear an elderly relative is getting herself into debt and I want to help but feel I need more information about possible solutions. Do you know of any businesses or organisations who offer help and advice?"

Answer : There are businesses around who can help for a cost but it is not necessary to take this route. Age UK have a comprehensive Factsheet about the help there is for a debt situation and also are happy to receive telephone calls regarding debt on their Age UK Advice Line 0800 169 65 65.

The factsheet can be found here:

Spring Tip of the Week

The glass walls of a shower cubicle in an elderly person’s home can be a safety hazard especially if their sight is not too good. Clear glass walls and door can easily be mistaken for a way out or a wall of support. To avoid confusion with clear glass shower walls and door purchase some stick on coloured motives, stripes, flowers, words, etc. Many such items are sold under the name of "decals" and can be purchased on line at Amazon, Ebay shops, etc.

If support is needed in the shower, install grab rails, never a towel rail as a substitute.

In-House News

A prospective carer was interviewed in Hampshire.

One of our clients sadly passed away. We had been providing a regular live-in carer to them since April 2013.

We aim to tweet something interesting each day, so please follow Able on Twitter: @AbleComCare.

Interesting Information/Statistics

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for UNISON, the UK’s largest union, reveal that 73% of councils in England, Wales and Scotland still commission 15-minute home care visits to elderly and vulnerable people. Regional figures show that 88% of Scottish councils commission these short visits, compared to 83% in Wales, and 69% in England.


Client Profile of the Week

Shaun is in his 60’s and has MS. In 2009, wishing to stay in his own home he was introduced to Able Community Care by his social worker. His care commenced within a few weeks. Shaun is high dependency and an outside care agency comes in to help with transfers. Shaun has two regular live-in carers, both of whom were introduced to him in 2009.

If you enjoy reading this please forward it to anyone else who may also find it of interest. They can also subscribe for their own weekly copy from our website:

Best Wishes,
Angela Gifford, Director
Able Community Care Ltd.
Telephone 01603 764567