Health, Well-Being, and Older People

By Jan Reed; David Stanley | Go to book overview

NINE
Safety and risk

Contents
Introduction149
Safety and living150
Safety, risk and professional practice152
Risk taking and risk management156
Organisational risk management162
Conclusion164

Key points
• There is a tension between living a life and maximising safety.
The experience of risk is mediated and sometimes amplified by personal
experience and social and political processes.
Professional practice with older people is full of ethical dilemmas that concern
risk identification and management.
There is a shift from individual practitioners only to also organisations being
responsible and accountable for risk management.

Introduction

There are two main points to this chapter: that there is a tension between maintaining safety and being surrounded by the artefacts of one’s life; and the other point concerns the difficulties of understanding risk and risk management – because it is so bound to the cultural and social background of each person and group, each brings a different understanding of a situation to decision making. Both points are made very eloquently through scripts written and performed by Old Spice, the group of older people based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, who work with a range of community groups, older people and professional care staff to convey through drama some of the key issues faced by older people. These scripts are reproduced in large part in this chapter with their kind permission, although you do have to see the full performance by older people to experience the full effect of their messages!

-149-

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