Medacs Healthcare

NOV 28/2012

'Your rights to home care' guide set to empower older people

Older people should benefit from a new easy-to-understand guide to home care and human rights, which has been published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Available to older people and their families and friends in England and Wales, the publication aims to ensure that people know they are entitled to a home care service that respects their human rights, regardless of how it is funded.

It also provides information on what to do and how to complain if people feel those rights are being placed at risk by those working in nursing jobs or other home care roles.

Baroness Sally Greengross, who led the commission's recent home care inquiry, said: "We hope that this guide will offer a lifeline to older people and their support networks in helping them to understand what their rights to home care are.

"Choosing a home care service for yourself or a loved one can be a complicated and emotional process, so any help the commission can offer to provide clarity has to be a good thing."

Gary Fitzgerald, chief executive of the organisation Action on Elder Abuse, welcomed the guide's publication.

He revealed that in the charity's experience, older people "often do not know their rights, and can find it difficult to raise concerns about the quality and reliability of their care".

Age UK's director general, Michelle Mitchell, also welcomed the guide, which she described as "clear and concise".

The charity is concerned that many older people's health and dignity is at risk and wants care givers to focus on "the needs of individuals rather than ... a tick box list of tasks to be completed within a set time".

Ms Mitchell also pointed out that home care takes place behind closed doors, meaning it is out of sight of local authorities and regulators.

"Our hope is that [the new guide] will help give people the confidence to stand up for their rights and take action against poor care, abuse and neglect," she added.

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