Standards of care in home care services: a comparison of specialist and generic services for older people with dementia
Venables D, Reilly S, Hughes J, Challis DJ, Abendstern M
Aging and Mental Health. 2006;10, 2.
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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.