Personalisation for older people living at home

In this video Anne MacFarlane, an older disabled woman and disability rights campaigner, talks about her lifelong experience of social care services. She found conventional services very restrictive, but since choosing to receive direct payments her life has improved considerably, not least because she has been able to take up paid employment. Anne also talks about the importance of accessible transport, independent living and dignity. She says that ultimately personalisation is about being able to ‘do the ordinary’. She concludes by expressing her concerns for her future when her need for support will be greater.

Messages for practice

  1. Personalisation is not just about personal budgets, but about achieving choice and control in many ways, including basic needs such as being able to access public transport if you are disabled.
  2. Personalisation is about the dignity and well-being of the individual.
  3. Delivering personalised services will mean different things to different people – it’s about self-determination and self-directed care.
  4. Understanding the individual, their interests, background and personal history is crucial for developing person-centred support – people need to maintain their social and cultural life as well as doing daily living tasks like shopping and cleaning.
  5. Relationship-based support as well as basic personal care is necessary for delivering personalised services and helping an individual preserve their activities (including work), interests and personal identity.
  6. The relationship between social workers/PAs and service users should be based on respect and a recognition of equality.

Who will find this useful?

Commissioners; social workers; personal assistants (PAs); managers of older people’s and disability services; social care and health workers supporting older people and disabled people; occupational therapists; disabled people, their carers and families; older people, their carers and families; social care and social work students; the general public.