was born in 1919 and in 2006 was living alone despite being frail and having
impaired memory and eyesight. A fall had convinced Kate and her family that she
needed to consider care support. Kate had enjoyed living in her bungalow for
many years and the option of moving into a care home did not appeal, so with
support from a Social Worker a Live-in Carer Service was investigated.
evidence showed that it was an option that might work, and Kate was able to
secure State funding to help pay for the Service. The Live-in Carer Service was
personalized to Kate ensuring that her domestic needs, personal care support
and social activities would be provided as Kate and her family wished them to
years later Kate is still happily in her own home, supported 24/7 by Able
Community Care and the Live-in Carers she has chosen.
above illustration, and there are many more, is an example of the current
phrase ‘person centred care’. The definition of which is “Treating people with dignity and respect by
being aware of and supporting personal perspectives, values, beliefs and
Person centred care in 2019 does not give people like Kate or
individuals who need less support, the choice to choose. There are several reasons, the first is financial, the
funding to pay for 24/7 care unless there is a substantial or critical need for
care (short term by definition) is usually not available. Low or moderate care
support is now rarely funded.Secondly, Councils have brought in Approved Provider Lists
from which care support with council funding can only be purchased. There are many
care providers who do not wish to work with councils, this can be evidenced
from the number of contracts which have been handed back in the last two years.
Many providers, such as my organisation, no longer work with councils for
several reasons, time delays in getting decisions, information, late payments,
nebulous support when a care package was up and running and
reviews/meetings/support were needed but were not forthcoming.As a result, if this were the case in 2006, Kate could not
have chosen her preferred provider but would have been told ‘which providers
she could choose from’. If Kate was applying in 2019, a list of residential
care homes would likely be offered.In the instance where care support is needed and an agreement
has been made to fund, it is possible to request Direct Payments which give an
individual the funding into their bank account allowing them to purchase their
care from whom they choose. Many older people and their families are not
advised of this fact.The current State funded care system is dividing the
population into two, those who can pay and so have choice and the state funded
sector who have little choice and are being told who will provide their care
support for them.
Kate and others like her, are the lucky ones.