Life Imitates Art in Dementia Care

. . . as ‘The Big Bang Theory’s’ Sheldon helps dementia clients in Scotland . . . The BBC are reporting a pilot scheme in Scotland, where driveable robots are being used to help older people with dementia – the story can be found here. The thing is, I saw the photo and thought, “I’ve seen this somewhere before . . .” For those of you who haven’t seen it, ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is an American sit-com about four science geeks and how they deal with the world. Doesn’t sound promising, does it? But it is a hit on […]

Andrews Salts or a Better Diet?

Care Minister Norman Lamb has announced that there is an urgent need to transform care in the home – highlighting the fact that, according to CQC, 25% of care is failing to meet basic standards. He’s right that this is an accident waiting to happen, but the solution is tricky. The economics of the problem are quite simple. Carers get the minimum wage or just above, and the margins for care agencies are very slim. Local authorities are under pressure from central government to cut costs and so will look to cheaper providers and also make requests such as half […]

The Generation Game – Why the Current Debate Over Universal Benefits for Older People is Irrelevant…

The coalition is currently split on the question of universal benefits for older people, such as the free bus pass and winter fuel allowance. This split is either healthy for democracy or a sign that the marriage is coming to an end – you decide. But the argument itself is largely academic, because reality is over-taking policy. If my grandparents were alive they would be in their late nineties – they were the generation that fought in the Second World War, and came home to the promise that the state would look after them. The welfare state and the NHS […]

Care Credits – Reinventing the Wheel?

Age UK London recently hosted a presentation from an organisation called care4care, and when I saw it I thought this is something I have to look at. Partly because of the need to tackle the problem of future care for older people, but I have to confess mainly because it is fronted by Professor Heinz Wolff – the archetypal professor from ‘The Great Egg Race’ in the late seventies. Along with Johnny Ball (how did he get voted off SCD?) and Johnny Morris, he inspired many of my generation to have an interest in science and the natural world. So […]

Housing: Home is Where the Heart is…

The news last Wednesday featured a report by the Intergenerational Foundation on what they call “house hoarding” – highlighting the housing problems faced by young people. They suggest that older people who stay in their family home are creating a housing crisis and that they should be encouraged to downsize by being given tax breaks (for example on Stamp Duty). There have also been comments on the web about this being unfair on younger people, because these home owners had it easy when the bought their properties. I’m not sure they have really thought this one through . . . Share this […]

Older Private Tenants Affordability

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Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Almost up there with personal injury lawyers and requests from Nigeria to help someone get their money out of a frozen bank account. But at the Preventive Health 2011 conference on 30th June, we were shown just what was possible in preventative health. It was a packed day, with some excellent speakers. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, was passionate but pragmatic about the importance of prevention in the future of the nation’s health, and Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, spoke words that were music to my ears – […]