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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Annie Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between age discrimination and the injustices that have taken place in our care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic in this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between age discrimination and the injustices that have taken place in our care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic in this country. It seeks to show how destructive age discrimination is to those who live in our care homes and attempts to shake up our attitudes to older people, as the pandemic continues. It is hoped that shifts in attitude would lead to a societal revolution in care and support for older people as the pandemic shows us how the current system is breaking down.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a personal insight into the plight of the care home sector during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. The writer has worked in the field of social care and older people’s services for many years and felt compelled to share her learning and observations. This led to venturing more deeply into understanding why those who live, work and visit care homes have been so neglected and “cast into the shadows” in the face of such desperate danger. Whilst tracking the media narrative during the first wave, she attempts to apply her knowledge, in particular gained from working for Help the Aged (now Age UK) as a policy manager for Quality Care, but also draws on experiences as a social worker, commissioner and care provider from the 1980’s to the present. By “shining a light” on care homes, revealing that the darker practices that have taken place contravene the Human Rights Act 1998, it is hoped that the recognition of age discrimination will happen at every level and become better known in its application. The paper observes how deeply rooted it is in us all.

Findings

Having highlighted some shocking examples of bad practice from the authorities relating to care homes, the article concludes that Government policy on care homes from March to July 2020 was discriminatory and questions how far lessons have been learned. The legislation is in place in the form of the Human Rights Act 1998 to protect older people in care homes but is not being widely implemented at regional policy level. Government rhetoric remains far from reality Instead of redressing the gap and admitting mistakes, there is evidence at a high level of continued denial and the projection of blame on to the care homes themselves.

Originality/value

The author’s professional background includes meeting the founder of the Gray Panthers, Maggie Kuhn, in the United States in the 1988. This was a defining moment that gave her an original insight into age discrimination and influenced her entire career. It eventually led to her working in national policy for one of the most influential charities for older people at the turn of the millennium, Help the Aged. Here, she co-founded the My Home Life Programme (promoting quality of life in care homes). The paper offers a unique insight into why it is so challenging to achieve quality of life for older people needing care and should be of interest to policymakers, clinical commissioning groups, local authorities, older people’s care providers and carer and user organisations.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1903

“WE come now to another aspect of the question, and it must be admitted that the resource and ingenuity of the opposition have left nothing unnoticed. This is the common…

Abstract

“WE come now to another aspect of the question, and it must be admitted that the resource and ingenuity of the opposition have left nothing unnoticed. This is the common and constantly repeated assertion that novels are so cheap that every working man in the country can buy all he needs for less than the annual library rate. This statement was first made some years ago when publishers commenced to issue cheap reprints of non‐copyright novels at 1s. and 6d. each. Previous to this the halfpenny evening paper had been relied upon as affording sufficient literary entertainment for the working man, but when it was found to work out at 13s. per annum, as against a library rate of 1od. or 1s. 4d., the cheap newspaper argument was dropped like a hot cinder. We doubt if the cheap paper‐covered novel is any better. Suppose a workman pays £20 per annum for his house, and is rated at £16, he will pay 1s. 4d. as library rate, or not much more than 1¼d. per month for an unlimited choice of books, newspapers and magazines. But suppose he has to depend on cheap literature. The lowest price at which he can purchase a complete novel of high quality by any author of repute is 3d., but more likely 4½d. or 6d. However, we will take 3d. as an average rate, and assume that our man has leisure to read one book every fortnight. Well, at the end of one year he will have paid 6s. 6d. for a small library by a restricted number of authors, and it will cost him an additional 4s. or 5s. if he contemplates binding his tattered array of books for future preservation. Besides this, he will be practically shut off from all the current literature on topics of the day, as his 3d. a fortnight will hardly enable him to get copyright books by the best living authors. With a Public Library at his command he can get all these, and still afford to buy an occasional poet or essayist, or novel, or technical book, well bound and printed on good paper, such as his friend who would protect him against an iniquitous library rate would not blush to see on his own shelves. It seems hard that the working men of the country should be condemned to the mental entertainment afforded by an accumulation of pamphlets. Literature clothed in such a dress as gaudy paper covers is not very inspiring or elevating, and even the most contented mind would revolt against the possession of mere reading matter in its cheapest and least durable form. The amount of variety and interest existing among cheap reprints of novels is not enough, even if the form of such books were better. It is well known to readers of wide scope that something more than mere pastime can be had out of novels. Take, for example, the splendid array of historical novels which have been written during the present century. No one can read a few of these books without consciously or unconsciously acquiring historical and political knowledge of much value. The amount of pains taken by the authors in the preparation of historical novels is enormous, and their researches extend not only to the political movements of the period, but to the geography, social state, costume, language and contemporary biography of the time. Thus it is utterly impossible for even a careless reader to escape noticing facts when presented in an environment which fixes them in the memory. For example, the average school history gives a digest of the Peninsular War, but in such brief and matter of fact terms as to scarcely leave any impression. On the other hand, certain novels by Lever and Grant, slipshod and inaccurate as they may be in many respects, give the dates and sequence of events and battles in the Peninsula in such a picturesque and detailed manner, that a better general idea is given of the history of the period than could possibly be acquired without hard study of a heavy work like Napier's History. It is hardly necessary to do more than name Scott, James, Cooper, Kingsley, Hugo, Lytton, Dumas, Ainsworth, Reade, G. Eliot, Short‐house, Blackmore, Doyle, Crockett and Weyman in support of this claim. Again, no stranger can gain an inkling of the many‐sided characteristics of the Scot, without reading the works of Scott, Ferrier, Galt, Moir, Macdonald, Black, Oliphant, Stevenson, Barrie, Crockett, Annie Swan and Ian Maclaren. And how many works by these authors can be had for 3d. each? The only way in which a stay‐at‐home Briton can hope to acquire a knowledge of the people and scenery of India is by reading the works of Kipling, Mrs. Steel, Cunningham, Meadows Taylor, and others. Probably a more vivid and memory‐haunting picture of Indian life and Indian scenery can be obtained by reading these authors than by reading laboriously through Hunter's huge gazetteer. In short, novels are to the teaching of general knowledge what illustrations are to books, or diagrams to engineers, they show things as they are and give information about all things which are beyond the reach of ordinary experience or means. It is just the same with juvenile literature, which is usually classed with fiction, and gives to that much‐maligned class a very large percentage of its turnover. The adventure stories of Ballantyne, Fenn, Mayne Reid, Henty, Kingston, Verne and others of the same class are positive mines of topographical and scientific information. Such works represent more than paste and scissors industry in connection with gazetteers, books of travel and historical works; they represent actual observation on the part of the authors. A better idea of Northern Canada can be derived from some of Ballantyne's works than from formal topographical works; while the same may be said of Mexico and South America as portrayed by Captain Mayne Reid, and the West Indies by Michael Scott. The volume of Personal Reminiscences written by R. M. Ballantyne before he died will give some idea of the labour spent in the preparation of books for the young. The life of the navy at various periods can only be learned from the books of Smollett, Marryat and James Hannay, as that of the modern army is only to be got in the works of Lever, Grant, Kipling, Jephson, “John Strange Winter” and Robert Blatchford.

Details

New Library World, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Annie Stevenson

The purpose of this case study is to highlight the importance of empowering and meeting the “higher needs” of the very old, which prolong a fulfilling life. Frailty in old…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to highlight the importance of empowering and meeting the “higher needs” of the very old, which prolong a fulfilling life. Frailty in old age need not be feared and abhorred if society would accept that all of us need to live our lives as we wish until the end, and value those who assist us to do this. With the right attitudes to ageing and death and with the appropriate investment for a seamless care system that listens to, and functions well for those who need it, old age should be as enriching as any other time in life.

Design/methodology/approach

Personal narrative of the author's parents ageing, this paper gives the background and personality of the frail older person and his wife, that contextualises the challenges they face in his very old age. The professional and personal experiences of the author as she tackles the obstacles to support them are drawn from her career in social care with memories from diaries written, as she accompanies her parents on their journey of physical and mental deterioration along with a quest for realising what they have and making the most of it.

Findings

Given how challenging this journey is for an informed family, the implications are that in 2013 our “civilised” society still misunderstands the special and complex needs of frail older people, devalues them, and writes them off with institutionalised, rigid attitudes and services instead of working creatively to improve their lives. The paper observes how deeply rooted this is in us all.

Originality/value

The combination of the author's background in social work and expertise in health and care with living so close to relatively unusually long-lived parents, offers a unique insight into why it is so challenging to achieve quality of life for very older people needing care and should be of interest to CCGs, social services departments, older people's care providers and carer and user organisations.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Annie Stevenson

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Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Ron Iphofen

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Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2010

Abstract

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Ron Iphofen

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Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Julienne Meyer, Hazel Heath, Cheryl Holman and Tom Owen

This paper highlights the need for researchers to work across disciplinary boundaries in order to capture the complexity that care practitioners have to engage with…

Abstract

This paper highlights the need for researchers to work across disciplinary boundaries in order to capture the complexity that care practitioners have to engage with everyday in care home settings. Drawing on findings from a literature review on the complexity of loss in continuing care institutions for older people, the case is made for less victim blaming and more appreciative approaches to research. The way this thinking informed the development of a further literature review on quality of life in care homes (My Home Life) is discussed. Findings from this second study are shared by illustrating key messages with quotes from older residents, relatives and staff living, visiting and working in care homes. These best practice messages focus on: transition into a care home; working to help residents maintain their identity; creating community within care homes; shared decision‐making; health and health services; end‐of‐life care; keeping the workforce fit for purpose, and promoting positive culture. The importance of collaborative working in both research and practice is discussed. The paper is likely to be of interest to all those concerned with improving and developing evidence‐based practice in the care home sector, including users and service providers, managers, commissioners and inspectors, policy‐makers, researchers and teachers.

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Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Annie Y.N. Cheng

The Hong Kong government recently reformed pre‐primary education with the introduction of a voucher scheme. At the time this policy caused considerable opposition from…

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Abstract

Purpose

The Hong Kong government recently reformed pre‐primary education with the introduction of a voucher scheme. At the time this policy caused considerable opposition from across Hong Kong Society. This paper seeks to use Fairclough's model of critical discourse analysis to explore a key policy text and seeks to assess to what extent such an analytical framework can help develop a better understanding of the processes of policy development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses critical discourse analysis methods and applies these to a specific policy text relating to the reform of pre‐primary education.

Findings

The paper suggests that critical discourse analysis can provide a useful analytical tool for analysing the complexities of the policy development process. In particular it surfaces key tensions within policy, such as those between commitments to equity and efficiency, that may have a significant impact on the outcomes of subsequent policy implementation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a small scale study. Its findings are tentative. There is some merit in the approach adopted, but the use of this approach in relation to policy development requires further work to develop it.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the understanding of how a range of methods of data analysis can help develop a more sophisticated understanding of the nuances of policy development.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Abstract

Details

Intellectual Disability Nursing: An Oral History Project
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-152-3

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