SOLIHULL’S elderly residents are assisting in university research on the effectiveness of the care system – and a charity has launched an appeal for more volunteers.
Age UK Solihull and The University of Birmingham are undertaking a study on elderly residents’ experience with finding and paying for care.
The charity says having to find and manage care services when you are old can be a confusing and isolating ordeal.
The research hopes to shine a light on how the elderly need greater support to fully understand services and how they can be enhanced.
The charity said care can involve many things from having someone to help in the house, with shopping or personal care.
A group of older residents in the borough are helping with the research project and some of them have been trained in doing research interviews.
Age UK now needs to find people to take part in the research and has appealed to those over-65 who would be willing to share their experiences of what it is like to find the sort of care they need in their own home and how easy or difficult it was to arrange. Interviews can take place in the person’s own home or somewhere else more convenient.
Anne Hastings, chief executive of Age UK Solihull said: “This is a really important piece of research and I would urge older people who are paying for their own care to come forward and tell us about their experiences which will help us gain a better understanding of the challenges and benefits of paying for your own care.”
As we reported last month, A fifth of those who receive care said they were dissatisfied with services, which is seven per cent higher than the national average, according to the latest Carers Survey.
About 58 per cent of service users have indicated their overall quality of life is good, which is lower than the national average of 63 per cent.
The lead reseacher and academic from Birmingham University’s department of social work and social care, Llinus Jehu, said: “More and more people are having to fund the care they receive at home. This includes paying for help washing, getting dressed or help with meals.
“This project aims to bring older people’s experiences to the fore. Academic researchers are working with a group of older people from Solihull to plan how the research is carried out.
“Together, they have already started to make links with policy makers and service provider to raise awareness of older people’s concerns about self-funding.
“These include Solihull Council, care agencies and voluntary groups.
“We are now looking for older people and carers who would be willing to be interviewed and talk about what organising, paying for and receiving care has been like for them.
“Taking part is entirely voluntary and people can withdraw at any time. The information we collect will be stored securely.”
If you would like to know more about the research or want to put your name forward to be involved, give her a call on 0121 414 7910.