Older People and Community Care: Critical Theory and Practice

Older People and Community Care: Critical Theory and Practice

Older People and Community Care: Critical Theory and Practice

Older People and Community Care: Critical Theory and Practice

Synopsis

Older People and Community Care sets social and health care practice with older people firmly in the context of the new community care arrangements and the consequent organizational trends towards a market culture. However, it also questions the relative lack of attention given by professionals to issues of structural inequality in old age, compared for example to race and gender. Thus, the book tackles a double agenda:

• How can community care practice be suffused with anti-ageist values and principles?

Addressing this question the book sets out the foundation knowledge and values which must underpin the development of anti-discriminatory community care practice and examines the implications for practitioners in terms of the essential skills and inherent dilemmas which arise.

Older People and Community Care is essential reading for all those working with and managing services to older people, and who aspire to make empowerment for older people a reality.

Excerpt

The main aim of the 'Rethinking Ageing' series is to fill the gap between what we now know about older people and ageing populations as a consequence of the considerable expansion of gerontological research in the last two decades, and the relatively limited amount of knowledge which is accessible and readily available to professional and voluntary workers and others involved with older people. In addition, the series has focused on major topics in ageing of current concern or interest to that audience – to date these are: race and ethnicity, reminiscence, health and illness, ageism, elder abuse, and the psychology of growing old. However, these books are also proving attractive to another audience – lecturers, researchers and post-graduate students – which indicates that they are also fulfilling a need among academics for a concise and critical overview of what is currently known about important contemporary topics in gerontology.

This book is a particularly important contribution to the 'Rethinking Ageing' series. It fulfils one of the main aims of the series by being directly about the improvement of practice. The NHS and Community Care Act has presented new responsibilities, uncertainties and challenges to those in care management and practitioner roles who work with vulnerable older people. Older People and Community Care aims to assist managers and practitioners in meeting those challenges in a way which empowers older people. Beverley Hughes locates social and health care practice in the context of the new community care arrangements and the drive towards a market-led consumer oriented model of care. However, she takes a contrasting value position which is oriented towards seeing older people as citizens, first and foremost, rather than consumers. Her 'fundamental values', which provide a foundation for principles and practice, are personhood (older people are people first and old second), celebration (of age), and citizenship. Arising from this value position is her advocacy of a professional model, rather than an administrative model . . .

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