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Widening choices for older people with high support needs

Helen Bowers et al.

15 January 2013

Older people with high support needs want greater choice and control over their lives and a wider range of options.

This study identifies the benefits and potential of options based on mutuality (people supporting each other) and / or reciprocity (people contributing to individual and group well-being).

The study found that:

  • Spending time identifying and understanding existing local models and arrangements will help commissioners widen their range of options;
  • Adapting ways of working from other countries, e.g. Denmark, could stimulate further development in the UK;
  • Planning, contracting and procurement rules need to be revised to stimulate the development of different models and ensure smaller-scale, relationship-based services are not damaged; and
  • Communicating the range and benefits of different models to older people, their families, the wider public and frontline staff will raise awareness, increase take up, and drive local developments.

Workshop materials
NDTi together with Community Catalysts is sharing and disseminating lessons from the JRF-funded research ‘Widening choices for older people with high support needs’.

The set of workshop materials provides a framework for a half-day workshop for local discussion and action planning. Its focus is on widening the choices for older people by increasing the availability of models and arrangements that are based on positive mutual relationships and older people’s contributions.

The materials include:

  • Introduction
  • Facilitators’ notes
  • Outline programme for participants
  • Task sheets
  • Slide presentation
  • Useful references and links

This resource is primarily intended to be used by multi-agency groups of people living or working in a single locality, including older people, third sector organisations, the NHS, social care, housing and other service providers, and commissioners.  However, the framework is sufficiently flexible to be used in a range of different settings (for example it has been used successfully with policy makers from across Scotland), and with different combinations of people.

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