Report 61: Co-production and participation: Older people with high support needs
The voices of older people with high support needs are so quiet as to be practically silent or indistinguishable from the other people who speak on their behalf.Bowers et al 2009
- Service providers need to understand that as the demographic of this group is changing and growing, and they need to adapt their services, and their co-production initiatives, accordingly.
- In 2007, 1.3 million of the population were aged over 85 and around 40 per cent had some form of severe disability. This group is projected to grow to 3.3 million by 2033.
- The group of older people with high support needs is becoming increasingly diverse with increasing representation of people from black and minority ethnic communities, people from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and groups such as people with learning disabilities living longer.
- Service user and carer participation is high on the agenda in social care but the practice, information and guidance around older people with high support needs remains limited.
- There are examples of good practice in co-production and participation with older people with high support needs, which are identified in this report and show how barriers to the development of co-production and participation can be overcome.
- The benefits of involving users in their own care decisions and service improvement are well documented and are referenced in this report. It is fundamental to a sense of wellbeing for the individual and results in better quality in both policy and service development and also has benefits for everyone involved in social care provision including practitioners and carers.