‘Lost in the community’ blog by Chris Phillipson reviews Covid-19 and care homes

Professor Chris Phillipson of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) has authored a blog concerning Covid-19 and residential and nursing care homes.Elderly man and nurse

Published by the British Society of Gerontology, the piece follows up on his previous blog which questioned: ‘Can society be trusted to run care homes?’

Reviewing the evidence, Chris begins the piece with the conclusion that society cannot indeed be trusted to run care homes. The blog goes on to make informed suggestions about steps to be taken to move on from the current crisis.

“First, and as an immediate change, SAGE needs re-balancing: a social care specialist needs to be brought onto the committee (along with other social scientists), to provide authoritative advice on issues facing the care home sector,” he stated.

“Second, an enquiry into the handling of Covid-19 is inevitable but this needs to be actioned sooner rather than later and organisations such as BSG, BGS, Age UK and CfAB should lead any investigation.

“Third, Covid-19 has demonstrated (again) the dysfunctional relationship between the NHS and Social Care, to such an extent that the likelihood of integration has been put back for a considerable period of time. Social care in particular needs to work out a unified voice and vision which can allow it to work on an equal basis with NHS partners.

“Fourth, ultimately, the care crisis and Covid-19 is a crisis about the care of people with dementia (70% of those in residential homes have dementia or severe memory problems). The system has been found wanting, in part because the care of people with dementia is itself in crisis, with new ideas desperately needed about finding the best environment for those unable to live in their own homes. Indeed, the pandemic is a reminder that we need to balance research about ‘cures’ for dementia, with more about the type of care which can both protect and empower people at the most vulnerable point of their lives.”

You can read the full article on the British Society of Gerontology blog, Ageing Issues.

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