Personalising social care
Last week, we shared the first thing we would like to see in political parties’ manifestos. We have three asks which will improve not just social care but society more widely. This week, ahead of polling day on Thursday, we will share the last two of each of these.
Today, we look at part two – personalising social care. At the moment, if you need social care at anytime of your life you have essentially three options. First is to stay at home with family, friends and carers who visit as required. Secondly, is supported living; a shared house with a number of other people who may have similar care requirements. Finally, the third is residential care. This usually involves care available around the clock, meals provided and much more. Unlike people, these options are binary. They do not allow for specific needs.
The presumption tends to be towards independence which on the face of it is great. As a society, we should be ambitious for people. But through our experience at Valicity, we know that not everyone would thrive in this environment. They are being set up to fail. It is short term thinking which leads to placements breaking down. More stress for the person involved and their loved ones. It is unfair. Trying to put people into supported living when they are not ready or capable is not working.
Instead, we believe the whole needs assessment and care decision needs reviewing. A much more person-centred system is needed. This will be complex and time consuming but it will also ensure each person has their needs met. Placements will be longer lasting though we know situations change and so do people’s needs. The system should be able to cope with that. It should be more responsive. There should be a plan for independence but it should be recognised that sometimes it is the destination, not the starting point.