Tag Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Who are the innovators and influencers in the #AgeingWell space?

Click Guide to Ageing Well

Finally there is an easy  way to access amazing online resources which give you information, highlight innovations and tell you about the many organisations working in the ageing sector. The click guide to ageing well brings this information together in a single place. With sections ranging from community connections to sexual wellbeing the guide shows that living a good later life presents many  opportunities along with the challenges!

In the digital age older people deserve and expect to look forward to a fulfilling later life supported by technology.  The constant messages about “the elderly” being associated with isolation, loneliness and “bed blocking” need to be balanced with how digital technology can and is enhancing people’s lives.  We need visionary digital leaders who are able to build collaborations  and alliances across health, care, housing, charities, social enterprises, funders, digital innovators and the older people likely to use digital products and services. .

The click guide to ageing will help you to understand where the millions of pounds are being spent to support people to age well,  We look forward to reporting in future newsletters  on whether the current investment in innovative ways of working and digital technology is having a significant impact. 

Older people now have more capacity, resources and access to knowledge than any previous generations. A quarter of the people who turned 50 in 2012 could live to be 100. We know that staying active, physically and mentally will support us to enjoy later life. The click guide to ageing well provides unique insights into how digital technology and social media are transforming the world of ageing

The click guide to ageing well will be of interest to everyone over 50 and the many professionals working to transform ageing who want to explore and understand how digital resources can enhance lives.

The Click Guide to Ageing Well is available to buy as an eBook for £4.99 and a paperback for £8.99 (plus p&p)

A special thank you is due to Jason Bergen @mryahbut  my co-author who has so generously shared his extensive insights and knowledge as we researched and developed the guide. His support and patience has been invaluable.

I know that I am very fortunate to have access to the expertise and skills of James Souttar @jamessouttar  Co-Founder of the Connected Care Network

We have been delighted at the response to our click guide to dementia which can be also be purchased from our website. We hope that you will find the click guide to ageing well equally valuable.  

Diverse Alzheimers @DiverseAlz

Thumbs up to @shirleyayres for compiling a practical guide on services in Click Guide to Dementia as well as people seen as change makers

Gillian Anderson @GAlzscot

Well worth downloading – well researched resources for anyone with an interest in #dementia and #digital

Dr Shibley Rahman @dr_shibley

I strongly recommend this ‘click guide’ to #dementia. Put together by @shirleyayres it’s an accurate account

Annika Small @AnnikaSmall

This is a fantastic initiative @shirleyayres – a massive thank you from me and my fellow dementia carers.

L @dragonmisery

What a fabulous new resource, I’m delighted to be included. I know carers will find this new digital directory of resources a wealth of info https://twitter.com/shirleyayres/status/788251065833709568 …

Andrew Corbett-Nolan @acorbettn

this is quietly impressive

The Click Guides are being  produced by members of the Connected Care Network who believe passionately that technology can benefit all of our lives but only if information is accessible to enable people to make informed choices about which digital resources fit with their hopes, needs and aspirations.

 

 

 

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Why we need a long term care revolution

It is time to take long term care out of the shadows and promote a public debate about the care and support we aspire to in later life rather than  accepting the current institutional models which offer so little choice and control for older citizens. The publication of Key to Care @PaulBurstow  supported by @LGiU is a timely reminder of the challenges confronting the care sector  and I welcome the mention of the need for service design and investing in technology.

I am one of the much maligned baby boomers being blamed by politicians and the media for not being responsible in planning for later life. The obvious question is what exactly I should be planning for  – being warehoused in an institution which may strip me of my dignity, pride and independence?

A blueprint for the redesign of long term care does not yet exist and we lack an overarching vision about how we want our care and support in later life to be provided beyond the institutional model. What are the levers of influence when social care is so complex and fragmented?

I believe our biggest challenge is  bringing  together all the sectors with an interest in improving the quality of later life for older citizens. As an example this includes: NHS health and care sectors, care providers, housing associations, emergency services, the wider social sector, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Kings Fund and many other think tanks, Care Quality Commission, Telecare providers, Independent Age, International Longevity Centre , Age UK, CarersUK, Design Council, Innovate UK, Nesta, Big Lottery and Nominet Trust who fund social technology projects, Centre for Ageing, universities, technology innovators, different Government Depts: Health, Communities and Local Government, Work and Pensions, Cabinet Office, Business, Innovation & Skills, Innovation Labs and Impact Labs across the UK. (I should add that this is only a small sample of the organisations involved in this area!)

I wonder if all of these bodies have ever sat down together to explore more effective collaborations and how to avoid duplication of effort and resources in basically tackling the same problems?

An honourable mention for  how technologies from other sectors and industries could help address the seemingly intractable problems about  supporting citizens in later life.

There seems to be a gulf between thinking and doing as organisations are unable to turn ideas into actions. Is this because there are so many stakeholders with their own perspectives and priorities sometimes struggling to survive in a competitive funding environment? .

Last week I launched my Long Term Care Revolution Provocation Paper commissioned by Innovate UK to provide an independent perspective about the challenges of developing radically different models of care which will meet the needs and aspirations of older citizens in later life.

 

With many thanks to Paul Taylor  for developing the presentation

If long term care is not fit for purpose how can we revolutionise the system or do we accept that the system is not the best but it is slowly changing and we need to give it time?

The “Ageing” sector is a complex multi million pound industry involving hundreds of organisations and millions of potential beneficiaries. From the @BigLotteryFund £82 million Ageing Better investment to the £50 million being spent creating the new Centre for Ageing Better why has there been so much reluctance to embrace new models of care for older citizens? There are a proliferation of partnerships and alliances exploring this agenda and how to embed social innovation in long term care. It is unclear how they are collaborating to provide a UK overview. Critical messages get lost in the plethora of reports and which often appear to be covering similar areas of concern such as isolation, loneliness. digital participation and the value of older citizens.

The reality is that person centred care will translate from words into everyday reality when we focus on the older citizen and are able to answer the simple questions “what will improve the quality of your life?” and “what care would you like to support you to live a fulfilling life?”

Our ageing population represent a victory for better nutrition, better housing, and the welfare state. People in later life offer wisdom, experience, perspective and a wide range of skill sets and capacities. Why are we not utilising the wealth of knowledge and experience of older people to develop and deliver community services that meet their needs?

We need a cultural mindshift which challenges the idea of older citizens being  “objects of charity” rather than active consumers

How do we change the narrative and think about a future where people look forward to later life with a wide range of choices to live a fulfilling life which is not dependent on health, locality or relationships?

Strangely people aged sixty plus are not one homogeneous group, we are as varied as individuals in any other sector of the population and our different life experiences inform our perspectives as consumers. Older people may have similar needs physically but these do not erase life experiences, preferences and orientations. Older people is not an identity but a statistical category

The budget deficit in health and care seems to have become a race to cut costs and shift responsibilities and places little value on the quality of life of the citizen  requiring long term care. Organisations with a focus on systems and processes are still negotiating block contracts for care services. Services are not being tailored to meet the personal needs, hopes and aspirations of older citizens. There appears to be a focus on medicalising later life care which ignores the health risks associated with loneliness and social exclusion amongst older citizens.

Our society has advanced in all aspects of life socially, medically, economically, technologically, environmentally. These advances have substantially redefined how we live our lives on a daily basis, how we travel (space, air, sea and land), how we communicate, how we work, how we manage our finances, how and what we buy, how we experience leisure and entertainment, and how we educate ourselves.  Yet the institutional principles which form the basis of long term care provision remains completely unaffected by such changes and have failed to develop in-step with these advances.

How do we make organisations culturally ready for moving from institutional thinking to person centred care which recognises how the adoption of digital technology can enhance the care and support available within communities? Digital does not have to mean no human contact. What it can do is free up the time for more face to face contact.

A gentle reminder that baby boomers expectations and aspirations have been shaped by:

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discovering the structure of DNA.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his historic “I Have a Dream” speech

1993 work on the Human Genome Project started

1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon

1971 Launch of the Open University

1973 Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon is released

1998 Google founded

1998 Launch of Apple iMac

2001  Launch of Wikipedia and the first Apple iPod..

2004 Facebook is founded

2006 Twitter was created

A serious question has to be asked about why the NHS and Social Care sectors who currently commission the majority of long term care have been so slow to develop a culture which promotes innovation. Market shaping exercises seem to assume the ‘status quo’ will continue indefinitely which is confirmed by the number of care providers now building new and larger care homes.

It is worth mentioning that my @nominettrust Provocation Paper published in 2013 highlighted how online innovations can enhance social care. Disappointingly I have seen very little mention of this in the Better Care Fund plans and the Care Act implementation.  Frankly I am astounded at the disconnect between what policy makers and care providers think is required in later life and how I see my my future which includes:

Robots as companions: Are we ready? @ManeeshJuneja

“I’d prefer a robot companion to 15 minutes of care by a worker on minimum wage struggling to provide quality care on a zero hour contract.“

Mobility is often a challenge for older citizens. Apart from decent and affordable public transport how could driverless cars keep people connected with their family, friends and the community?

Living choice for older citizens are influenced by standards, regulations, the design of new housing and lifetime homes. What are the options for retrofitting of existing housing stock; shared lives and co-housing. How can we support inclusive communities and neighbourhoods through urban design and planning?Where is the thinking across social care, health and housing about the importance of smart technology enabled homes

There are tough and uncomfortable questions to be discussed to inform the debate about how we can all look forward to a future without fear of being abandoned to a market where vital care and support is determined by our income and locality rather than our needs and personal preferences. We have to address the potential shortfall in both formal and informal carers in the future with more people living on their own who do not have families to support them.

I want a clear vision for the future which offers a coordinated system with many different life choices for citizens in later life. This is not just the responsibility of one sector it needs to engage each and every one of us at local, national and UK wide levels in a public debate about our hopes and aspirations for care in later life.

A substantial number of reports, research and articles informed the development of the Provocation Paper and I will be providing a follow up post which details the background reading.

My personal thanks to @MarkOneinFour  @Trinigyal44 @clarkmike @PaulBromford @ManeeshJuneja whose thinking and generous contributions as critical friends informed the development of the Provocation Paper. 

Keep connected with the debate!

Follow #LTCRevolution on Twitter for the latest debates.

Updated social media analytics and transcripts are available via Symplur @healthhashtags

@clarkmike covered the launch of the Long Term Care Revolution National Launch in the November TelecareLin newsletter.

@PaulBromford calls for radically different views of age and skills in his post A Revolution in Care Requires a Revolution in Thinking

The new Radio 4 series The Invisible Age is looking at the issue of sixty plus age groups encompassing several generations and how we as a society regard older citizens. The recent You and Yours programme asked the question ‘do people treat you differently once you’re over 60’. I was invited to discuss with Winifred Robinson our attitudes to ageing, whether people are ignoring ageing issues and why we need a long term care revolution.

 

The most powerful need we humans have is to be connected and to remain connected. Social media provides unrivalled opportunities for all of us to contribute to the long term care debate. I would love you to add thoughts, comments and share your dreams about the choices you would like in later life!

Connected Care Camp survey – what are the priorities?

Connected Care Camp on the 7th December is bringing together front line staff, managers, people who use health and care services as well as carers to explore how we can improve the wider care sector including housing.

Connected Care Camp is part of the Public Service Launchpad a new programme to help passionate people who work either paid or unpaid in all kinds of public services – whether in local government, housing associations, health services, the third sector, social enterprises or elsewhere to develop ideas to solve the problems that they encounter every day. Ideas can involve small changes or radical redesign of services.

Not everyone can attend this one-off event in person but you can join in on Twitter using the hashtag #psicare.

We know what many of the problems are, many are making headlines on a daily basis so we are looking for solutions that work and that can scale. We need a clearer vision of what works and who could benefit so that we can optimise the skills and resources we currently have. This includes decommissioning services that are not effective.

In a fragmented health and care system we need to be clear about who has responsibilities for action, how organisations and communities can be more effective and how health, care and housing can be better co-ordinated around people who could benefit.

To help us organise the day and better engage the wider community via social media we would welcome your responses to our survey.

Click here to take the survey

Find out more about Connected Care Camp and book your place here

Coming soon! The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care

All the information you need in one place

Whether you work in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors (or are a carer or use services), digital technology is transforming the way care services are delivered. It will not, of course, ever replace human contact, kindness, empathy and understanding. But it does allow people to connect in different ways, quickly and easily. And digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing among groups of people who share similar interests and concerns.

The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care has been developed to help professionals, carers and service users make use of the fantastic resources which are already available across the whole spectrum of needs in adult social care today. We believe it is important to bring all of this information together in a single place. The Guide lists more than a hundred resources, spanning the areas of care, health and housing.

Due for publication February 2013 The Click Guide to Digital Technology for Adult Social Care can be downloaded as an eBook at a cost of £3-99 or as a hard copy printed publication (price to be confirmed).