Mr Stevens, Chief executive of NHS England has recently talked about his disappointment if nursing homes still could be found in the next 50 years probably because nursing homes are still understood as ‘a place to die’. However, quite different approach and perspective to nursing homes is in Denmark since 1987, where the construction of care homes for older people had been stopped and a new concept of independent living has started to develop – the country has encouraged the developments of independent specialised housing for elderly.
According to D.Perkin, a director in one of the companies in health sector, the statement of NHS chief executive is correct – older people should receive more support at home – however in order to implement this idea in the UK and facilitate the same level of support, healthcare practices, social service for seniors as it is in Denmark of Japan would be very difficult. In other countries where attention to seniors is much more supported, services such as day care centres are common and it popular for older people who do not want to live in care homes for a long term. Also, the transportation is provided for seniors as well – seniors have a choice to spend time in nursing homes for a short period of time if they decide to leave the family for a few days.
Oxford University has estimated that around £34bn a year are spent on UK’s care sector that is one of the highest expenditures in Europe. Mr Stevens is really optimistic and is hoping that in 50 years’ time the number of people who have Alzheimer will decrease significantly because of the improvements in medical research. The first chemical that could possibly stop the death of brain tissue has been discovered by a research team thus there is a possibility of distressing neurodegenerative disease to be fought.
A new type of care facilities in the UK has also origins from Holland, where a new concept of care homes where analysed in details and the result was the creation of a village that would change the lifestyle of older people. The studies has shown that people with anger problems who were dependent on medication have enjoyed living in retirement villages and their overall life satisfaction has increased significantly.
Currently the average cost for a nursing home is around £750 a week, while the cost of retirement homes for people worth Dementia care is about £1000 a week.
Although it seems difficult to measure the happiness of each patient, the overall results showed that the number of medication that senior residents take has decreased, people started to eat better thus the life span has expanded. The idea of senior homes in UK is changing and it is more about caring environments rather than about a place where elderly “go to die”.