This UK research report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) is an exceptional report from an exstensive project. Unlike many reports on ageing, this one includes sexuality when diversity is discussed. It moves away from the 'successful ageing' framework and instead focusses on giving older people a voice and rights.
Click here to go to the project site.
'What can help older people with high support needs to improve their quality of life? This research rounds-up JRF’s A Better Life programme of work and presents a vision of what life can, and should, be like for all of us as we get older. The following challenges emerged from this work and we hope they will form the bedrock on which joint solutions can be developed:
- We all need positive images and balanced narratives to challenge ageist assumptions. Old age is not about ‘them’, it is about all of us.
- We all need to make the effort to see and hear the individual behind the label or diagnosis, taking into account the increasing diversity of older people as a demographic group.
- We must ensure that all support is founded in, and reflects, meaningful and rewarding relationships. Connecting with others is a fundamental human need, whatever our age or support needs.
- We need to use the many assets, strengths and resources of older people with high support needs through recognising and creating opportunities for them to both give and receive support.
- We must all be treated as citizens: equal stakeholders with both rights and responsibilities, not only as passive recipients of care. We must also have clarity on what we can reasonably expect from publicly-funded services and what we will need to take responsibility for ourselves.
- The individual and collective voices of older people with high support needs should be heard and given power. We must use a much wider range of approaches to enable this.
- We need to be open to radical and innovative approaches; but we also need to consider how, often simple, changes can improve lives within existing models.
- These challenges are not specific to a particular sector, service or profession: a key message is that these apply in care homes, health services, voluntary sector organisations and older peoples’ lives.'