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Live webchat with shadow minister for care and older people, Wednesday 8 Feb, 2-3pm

(45 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 31-Jan-12 12:18:26

We're extremely pleased that Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West and shadow minister for care and older people, will be joining us on Wednesday 8 February for a live webchat from 2-3pm.

Liz is currently most involved in changing attitudes to older people and reform of social care. She's happy to talk about the issues that have been raised on the ageism in hospital thread and about whether social care could be made more less of a lottery - and generally better - in the light of budget cuts. Or indeed anything else.

Please note: slightly later than usual time for this webchat.

granIT Wed 01-Feb-12 09:37:40

Hi Liz, there's been a suggestion that having a consultant geriatrician in every hospital would make a difference to ageist attitudes - which we know from threads on here are rampant in the NHS and very destructive to people's dignity and health.

Do you think this would help?

uadbear Fri 03-Feb-12 18:20:51

As an ex care worker and domicilary care manager, I realise that many care workers see the work as a job, not a calling. Many inspectors have not worked in these professions and when inspections are taking place many care homes are managing to pull the wool over the faces of the inspectors. How can we give the power back to the residents/clients.

jeni Fri 03-Feb-12 18:50:37

What do you think of the proposed removal of mobility allowance recipients
From DLA if the current proposals go ahead?

Glamnan663 Fri 03-Feb-12 20:32:21

Is it correct that the proposed raising of the tax exemption limit to £10,000 does not apply to the over-65s? If so, can you explain the Government's reasoning for this? and will Labour campaign against this limit? It is very unfair for pensioners with a small private pension which takes them just over £10,000.

Caroline Fri 03-Feb-12 20:49:56

Hi Liz
Perhaps staff that are dealing with 'older' people should be told not to SHOUT
when communicating with them. Is it necessary to yell "WOULD YOU LIKE A DRINK MABEL?" I observed this method of addressing patients when my sister was in hospital. It's not confined to nurses/ward orderlies, I have an elderly friend who requires home care, and he also gets YELLED AT. The people who train nurses and other staff should know that this is demeaning, not ALL older people are deaf! Could the standards of 'care training' be improved? It would be a small step towards maintaining the dignity of the ill and infirm

JayP Mon 06-Feb-12 15:50:22

Why is money that is suppose to fund Social Care, not been ring fenced?

crisisgran Tue 07-Feb-12 09:04:23

Hi Liz

Will you be supporting the Dilnot proposals when the government introduces its social care white paper in the spring?

crosspatch Tue 07-Feb-12 09:12:34

Every few months it seems we hear stories of people being abused in care homes or even in their own homes by carers. If these things happened to children there would be a national outcry. What practical measures would you put in place to stop these abuses?

greatgablegran Tue 07-Feb-12 09:25:26

I would like to ask a question about health. It is very easy and probably quite popular for Labour to oppose all proposed NHS reforms - but the Labour government consistently threw more money at the NHS and there are still great problems - inefficiency, waiting times, grubby hospitals, poor outcomes on international scales for some illnesses. Do you accept there is a need to improve the service, and given that there isn't a bottomless pit of money, what ideas do you have for doing this?

BrenML Tue 07-Feb-12 12:12:39

Health of course is important, but I would like to think that opportunites to be creative is just as important and linked to good health. Yet, the ageism in this country rubbishes anything anyone of sixty might attempt.
The Company of Elders is a shining example of what can be achieved.

Should we move towards positive and serious encouragement,like that given to children and other disadvantaged groups to continue to grow and develop?

Old age shouldn't just be about health and other problems. We all still have so much to give, it's just that no one wants it.

granIT Tue 07-Feb-12 14:32:44

Do you think social care should be integrated with health services? When money is taken away from care the NHS has to pick up the pieces anyway. Would that help those who allocate the money to see care as a preventative service - saving money in the long run?

effblinder Tue 07-Feb-12 15:26:42

Do you think that proper care for the elderly starts in hospitals or in the care system? How could the two systems work together better to ensure that people don't get 'lost'?

jakesgran Tue 07-Feb-12 16:25:04

Last week I read that Judi Dench was lambasting "inhumane care homes" and suggesting that the alternative was to let our elderly live with us. To me this is a rather naive reaction to the problem: there are so many reasons why it may not be practically possible even if people were willing to do it. I wondered what your thoughts on this are? For those of us with aged parents who are unable to have them live with us - for whatever reason - but are alarmed at the standards and/or costs of what is on offer it's hard to think what the answer might be.

(This is the story in case you hadn't seen it

eggmayo Wed 08-Feb-12 09:23:11

Looking forward to seeing this today. Liz, what ideas do Labour have for transport and older people? I think this is a really important factor in ensuring that people are able to live their lives properly even if they're not well off.

It's important that people are able to get to the doctor and hospital, but also that they can go to the shops etc and just get some human contact. In the long run, improving transport for older people will help the state, saving them money, people won't go into care just because they can't eg do their own shopping.

Also (sorry 2 questions) do you think that there is any more mileage in the 'Big Society' idea in terms of helping older people? Elderly care was one area I had a bit of hope for this hare-brained scheme, as it seems so obvious that so many elderly people need such simple help (going to the shops, cadging a lift etc) that younger people would be able to give them.

bigknitter Wed 08-Feb-12 11:22:13

Hi Liz, looking forward to the webchat later. I would have liked to be an MP if things had worked out differently - was a Labour councillor for 15 years. Do you think it is easier for young women in politics today? Why aren't there more women in senior positions still? Do we need positive discrimination?

clovenhoof Wed 08-Feb-12 11:37:27

It often seems to me that ageism is where feminism was when I was a girl and where homophobia was when I was a young woman - in other words, dismissiveness of older people (that often means anyone over 50) is so prevalent and accepted that we don't even notice it. Everywhere from birthday cards to advertising, pictures in newspapers to films, there is a sense that age is a slippery slope to horror and the only way to cope with it is to pretend it isn't happening and you are actually 35.

In your relatively short time as spokesperson for older people, is this something you have become aware of? Do you have any ideas for changing perceptions of ageing? Do you agree that there is a need to emphasise the positive aspects of life in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond - and if so, any ideas how to do it? Anyone looking at Gransnet can see that older women are resourceful and funny and living very rich and varied lives - why is this a story that is completely ignored most of the time?

goldengirl Wed 08-Feb-12 11:52:56

I'm wondering what improvements have been made to assist those who care for relatives from afar.
The system when I looked after my elderly parents from 200 miles away just a couple of years ago was totally geared up for carers who lived nearby. The situation became so stressful that I wrote a booklet to help others.
Talking to other long distance carers the main source of concern is the lack of communication between the agencies and services involved in the care together with the problems of accessing information as to how life could be made easier for one's relatives.

firenze Wed 08-Feb-12 12:28:47

On the very powerful thread here on Gransnet about ageisim in hospital, one of the suggestions by those of us who are former nurses was to bring back the authoritarian matron and ward sister. Many of us remember being frightened to be seen slacking when we were young nurses. Restoring a hierarchy to nursing would mean you'd never get nurses hanging around the nurses' station talking to each other when there is a patient without a visitor at visiting times, for example. Do you agree?

Paully28 Wed 08-Feb-12 13:19:36

I have been a Social Worker for many years, mainly working in elderly care wards in Hospitals, and in older adult services in the community.
Could you please tell me what you think of the current Social Care provision for those suffering from memory loss, dementia and Alzhmeir's disease in the community, and what if anything you would do differently?

I find that the services that are available are inadequate and in many instances families and professionals are left with the sometimes distressing option of full-time care being the only option.

In addition to this what would you think about my thoughts on there needing to be more funding made available for research into these areas, both in the prevention and most appropriate way to care for people with these illnesses?

Kind regards

flopsybunny Wed 08-Feb-12 13:39:34

The Labour Party stands, presumably, for a fairer, more equal society. How do you explain the fact that at the end of 13 or so years in government, Britain is a less equal country than at any point in my lifetime? I am a child of the welfare society - free education, very good healthcare, free university - but I feel I am on my own seems important to have your own money, a private safety net, as at no previous time in my life. How in these circumstances can you possibly win back trust?

LizKendall Wed 08-Feb-12 13:58:28

this is a test.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 08-Feb-12 14:01:53

Liz is here and has her hands on the keyboard and we're ready to go....We're delighted to welcome her to Gransnet.

Paully28 Wed 08-Feb-12 14:02:19

Welcome liz

LizKendall Wed 08-Feb-12 14:05:47


Hi Liz, there's been a suggestion that having a consultant geriatrician in every hospital would make a difference to ageist attitudes - which we know from threads on here are rampant in the NHS and very destructive to people's dignity and health.

Do you think this would help?

Hello! I'm sorry I'm a bit late. I think having consultant geriatricians leading teams in hospitals makes a big difference to improving care for older people. I've seen this for myself, on a recent visit to QMC hospital in Nottingham where geriatricians are leading improvements in the medical assessment unit and on dedicated wards for people with dementia. They work closely with specialist nurses, mental health professionals, OTs and physios. You can read my blog about this on my website

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