Latest caregiver news June 2019
Highlights of this week’s roundup of eldercare news include:
- Thousands missing out on NHS Continuing Healthcare funding in England and Wales
- TV licences for pension credit recipients only, but many could claim
- Financial abuse of vulnerable growing
- Dementia diagnoses rising, and more funding to find a solution
- Blue Badge parking scheme to be extended to those with ‘invisible’ disabilities in England
- Plus announcements on protection for vulnerable energy customers; online portal for Type 2 diabetes; upskilling community pharmacists; citizen voice for health and social care in Wales
- Working caregivers in Wales invited to give views on issues in the workplace
Thousands of people are missing out on Continuing Healthcare funding from the NHS in England and Wales because either they don’t know about it or they find the claim system to daunting to navigate says a specialist lawyer. We’ve just published an expert guide on understanding how to claim this important but little-known funding. Find it on our downloads page.
It’s been all over the news that by 2020 TV licences will be restricted to those receiving pension credit. But there are many pensioners who are entitled to claim pension credit and don’t. So what is it and how do you get it? MoneySavingExpert has a useful guide to pension credit.
Financial abuse is becoming a prevalent problem, with those living with dementia being particularly vulnerable, a leading barrister has warned. Around 130,000 people in the UK over the age of 65 have reported financial abuse over the past 12 months. It is also more common for people living in their own home to be financially abused, rather than those living in a care home.
Ofgem is aiming to give greater protection to vulnerable energy customers. Its strategy includes improving the way that vulnerable customers are identified, supporting those struggling with their bills, making significant improvements to customer service, and encouraging inclusive innovation in its work with partners.
Less than half of retirees able to claim the new State Pension are actually receiving the full amount, according to research by Canada Life. That means 38% are receiving less than £150/week in State Pension.
Two hours outside in the natural world every week may be as important as exercise and a healthy diet to wellbeing, says a new study. The findings seemed to apply to every level of health, wealth and general life satisfaction.
NHS England has announced an online portal for patients with Type 2 diabetes. Users will be able to access evidence-based information on diet and exercise, and emotional support, to help them deal with the physical and mental challenges of diabetes. The system will be trialled in 11 sites later this year, with the aim of providing a national rollout in 2020.
The NHS in England is planning to “upskill” community pharmacists to provide alternatives for patients who don’t need to see a GP, as one step in its long-term plan for the health service. This will include providing new training to enable pharmacists to work across a variety of healthcare settings. There will also be a number of “clinical” pharmacists, working in surgeries and care homes.
A new ‘citizen voice’ to represent patients in the NHS and those receiving social care in Wales is to be set up by the Welsh government. The aim is to go beyond hearing complaints and to bring improvements, although details are yet to be published. There are also proposals for a Duty of Candour – requiring transparency when things go wrong – and a Duty of Quality, to ensure improvements throughout the service.
The number of dementia diagnoses has increased by 7% over the last three years – the result of an ageing population and better diagnosis. The result though is more strain on the NHS, says the NHS national clinical director for dementia.
Scottish researchers have been given funding to explore a potential new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease. The team at the UK Dementia Research Institute at Edinburgh University is looking at the damage that Alzheimer’s causes to the connections between nerve cells that are essential for thinking, learning and memory.
If you’re a working caregiver in Wales, Wales TUC and Carers Wales would be grateful for your help in a survey. The aim is to find out more about what issues carers are dealing with in the workplace. The results will inform our ongoing work with the Welsh Government. The survey is available in both English and Welsh at tuc.org.uk/carersurvey and will be open until October 2019.
People with social care needs could potentially save £17,000 year by staying at home, modifying their homes and using domiciliary care, according to figures from a report prepared by home care specialists Supercarers for Telegraph Money.
The Blue Badge parking scheme is to be extended to those with ‘invisible’ disabilities, including dementia and autism, in England. The final decision on whether an applicant receives a badge remains with the relevant local authority.