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Social care to focus on hobbies

Published on 18 May 2012 11:00 AM

A Government review of social care will help to promote leisure activities and friendships among older people.

New plans have been unveiled to help social workers reduce people's isolation and encourage them to stay active.

This could include helping people to focus on talents they may have for hobbies such as gardening.

Announcing the scheme, social care minister Paul Burstow said social services departments needed a 'radical' change.

It comes after spot checks found that one in three hospitals and nursing homes were not providing decent care.

Mr Burstow said: 'We are strongly considering the crucial role that support networks can play in allowing people to lead the sort of lives that they want to lead.

'Simply put, it is a vision for social work that is no longer based on one that only reacts in crises. Instead we want social workers to look to people's assets. I'm not talking about their bank balances - I'm talking about their talents, their gifts, their goals.

'It might be a talent for gardening or a supportive friend that they have.

'It's about building resilience from relationships to foster those informal networks found in communities that give meaning and purpose to people's lives.'

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said: 'We fully share Paul Burstow's vision of social care being about what a person would like to be supported to do rather than just reacting to crises, because older people have the social needs as everyone else in society.

'However the social care system is in such a mess at the moment that this feels a long way from where we are at the moment and will not be achievable without radical reform of the current system together with better funding now and in the future. We must not forget about those older people who are currently in crisis and living in desperation without the support they need.'

Copyright Press Association 2012

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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