Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

Introduction

…one of the greatest opportunities that faces us this century is to respond to the needs
of [the] ageing population and to harness effectively the contributions older people can
and do make to society
.

Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister

This book is about people. It is primarily about older people and especially those older people who need care and support at times of particular vulnerability It is about emancipating older people from a history that has given them a bad press, and freeing them for a fuller and more productive life with greater choice. It is, in fact, a book about US ALL since we are all growing older. As Rabbi Lionel Blue has said: ‘Older people don’t go away. We become one.’ (Better Government for Older People 1999)

The book is also about how people behave as individuals and in organizations. At its heart is the challenge to achieve a deeper understanding of the needs and aspirations of us all as we get older: an understanding that will result in changed behaviour and attitudes in both individuals and organizations providing care. Society must let go of the fear that older people are the problem and embrace the concept that, in fact, they can be the solution to the problem. Organizational behaviour must demonstrate trust in the older person. This is the key to developing new ways of working to achieve integrated systems of care.

This book is based on a case study of a project of integrated care for older people in South Buckinghamshire. EPICS (Elderly Persons Integrated Care System - see Appendix A for a description of the organization’s function). The authors worked together as part of the EPICS team from 1995 to 1999. As a case study they believe that the experiences are of value to a wider public.

The authors hope that the book will have immediate interest for practitioners, planners and managers of care for older people, that it will have especial value for

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