The demand for health and social care for older people (85 years and above) who suffer from dementia continues to rise in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the government of the United Kingdom has not put in place adequate measures to cater for the high demand. Currently, the social care program that caters for dementia patients is underfunded. Indeed, older people that benefit from the program are forced to part with a vast amount of money. Xenia and Jacopo (2013) argue that lack of adequate fund to support the older patients who suffer from dementia has led to over 800,000 elderly people not benefiting from the program (Karanikolos et al, 2013). This proposal will analyze the impacts of the reduction of the fund on older people. Moreover, the project will focus on the unmet social care services, particularly the nursing home services.
Background and Rationale for the Study
Currently, the United Kingdom’s health and social care for older people suffering from dementia is in crisis. The government of the United Kingdom has reduced the amount of money that it spends on the health and social care for this group of the elderly. As a result, the country has witnessed a tremendous decline in the availability of drugs and community health workers that cater for the dementia patients (Karanikolos et al, 2013). Although the population of the older people continues to grow, ‘the funding and the subsequent number of people that receive treatment for dementia-related problems are declining’ (Xenia & Jacopo, 2013:p.28). The government will not be in a position to offer a majority of the essential health and social services to older people suffering from dementia if measures to raise the required fund are not put in place. The government of the United Kingdom is currently focusing on other fundamental needs that affect the nation. Thus, it has set aside a limited amount of public fund to cater for the treatment and nursing home services for older people who suffer from dementia.
Bredenkamp, Mendola and Gragnolati (2011) argue that the demand for nursing home services among the elderly dementia patients continues to increase in the United Kingdom. However, the lack of adequate fund has led to 35% of the councils scaling down the number of older people that benefit from the nursing home services. Also, the number of the older people that access the help of admiral nurses has gone down tremendously. The number of ‘older people with dementia challenges that receive physiotherapy, speech therapy and emotional support from community health workers have declined by 21% from 489,000 t0 384,600’ (Ferlie & Shortell, 2012:p.289). The study by Scheil-Adlung and Bonnet (2011) is relevant to this study because it portrays the state of the dementia patients and accessibility of nursing home services in the United Kingdom. Besides, it predicts the future trend in treatment and support of elderly people that suffer from dementia.
The rationale for selecting this study is to bring to the picture the nature of crisis in the United Kingdom’s health and social care for the elderly with dementia problems. Besides, the study seeks to identify the factors that have contributed to the crisis and the measures that can be taken to resolve the situation. In other words, the study will focus on the challenges that the dementia patients in the United Kingdom are facing due to a reduction of the fund for the treatment and social care programs. The proposal will identify the unmet nursing home needs and discuss how older people have been forced to dig deeper into the pockets to finance their treatment and nursing home needs. The study will identify the challenges that most elderly people who have been obliged to remain at homes due to lack of fund to support nursing home centers face.
Aims and Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study is to help learners and the public to understand the consequences of underfunding the treatment and nursing home services for older people with dementia. The paper will achieve this by showing the plight of the older people that suffer from dementia in the United Kingdom.
The objectives of the study include:
- To determine the impacts of reduction of fund on treatment of the older people with dementia problems in the United Kingdom
- To determine the effects of inadequate fund on nursing home services provided to dementia patients in the United Kingdom
- To identify the unmet nursing home services like emotional support
- To come up with recommendations on how the government can enhance the treatment and social support of older people with dementia problems.
Literature Search Strategy
The researcher intends to rely on secondary data. The data will be gathered from peer-reviewed journals that were published in the last five years. The researcher opted to use secondary data because it is readily available. Besides, the peer-reviewed journals guarantee the credibility of the findings. Apart from the peer-reviewed journals, the research will also rely on World Wide Web and books. The researcher will use numerous search engines to find the relevant information. They include BASE, Google Scholar, and WebMD. Besides, ProQuest and EBSCO Host databases will be of significant help to the researcher. The researcher will use keywords like health, nursing home services, social support, impacts, long-term care, dementia and challenges to locate information. The study will only concentrate on secondary data that accounts for health or social care in Europe. Any data that does not account for health or social care in Europe will be disregarded. This inclusion and exclusion criteria will ensure that the proposal comes up with accurate findings.
Ethics and Anti-Oppressive Practice Considerations
The researcher will consider some values and anti-oppressive practices. For instance, the researcher will ensure that they do not disclose sensitive information regarding particular groups of older people. Besides, the researcher will ensure that they demonstrate appropriate care for both the government and older people’s interests by exercising their privileges within areas of demonstrated proficiency. The researcher will evaluate the factors that have contributed to the current state of older people suffering from dementia in the United Kingdom to avoid being biased. Besides, the researcher will not categorise older people based on gender or race to ensure that the approach of the study is anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory.
Bredenkamp, C., Mendola, M. & Gragnolati, M. (2011) Catastrophic and impoverishing effects of health expenditure: New evidence from the Western Balkans. Health Policy and Planning, 26 (4), 231-247.
Ferlie, E. & Shortell, S (2012) Improving the quality of health care in the United Kingdom and the United States: a framework for change. The Milbank Quarterly, 79 (2), 281-315.
Karanikolos, M., Mladovsky, P., Cylus, J., Thomson, S., Basu, S., Stuckler, D., Mackenbach, J. & McKee, M. (2013) Financial crisis, austerity, and health in Europe. The Lancet 381 (9874), 1323-1331.
Scheil-Adlung, X. & Bonnet, F. (2011) Beyond legal coverage: Assessing the performance of social heath protection. International Social Security Review, 64 (3), 112-141.
Xenia, S. & Jacopo, B. (2013) Gaps in social protection for health care and long-term care in Europe: are the elderly faced with financial ruin? International Social Security Review, 66 (1), 25-48.