Report 61: Co-production and participation: Older people with high support needs
Participation - benefits and barriers
Older people’s definition of co-production is ‘Local authorities, older people and older people’s organisations working together to design and deliver opportunities, support and services that improve wellbeing and quality of life.NDTi and Helen Sanderson Associates 2009
Genuine participation is about having a voice and being heard by others – including professionals and family – in such decisions as moving to a care home, improving quality of life, or helping to promote inclusion.
The opportunity to get involved in care decisions and service improvement discussions is fundamental to an individuals’ sense of wellbeing (Evans and Vallely 2007). Where this does not happen, choice and control is compromised. We list some of the benefits from involving users and the public.
Barriers to participation are primarily to do with the negative and ageist attitudes of professionals and others towards older people. Meeting the costs of participation can also raise funding issues, and older people themselves often have low expectations of the effectiveness of involvement. We list some of the barriers.