Aging and Mental Health. 2006;10, 2.
Current policy in England emphasises both the importance of caring for highly dependent
older people for as long as possible in their own homes, and the development of specialist
care services for people with dementia. However, the differences between specialist
and generic home care services for people with dementia are poorly understood. This
cross-sectional postal survey describes the standards of home care services for people
with dementia in the North West of England, and investigates the differences in quality
standards between specialist and generic home care services. Forty-six percent of
identified services provided information on a range of quality indicators. Most services
provided only a few of the indicators utilized by the study, and there was little
evidence of services adopting national minimum standards. Few differences were found
between the two service types, although generic services appeared to offer a greater
degree of flexibility than specialist services. These results help to inform the understanding
of home care service mix and provision, and the uptake of national minimum standards.
They provide key material for shaping the future provision of home care for older
people with dementia.