The to older adults, so that they

The Welfare Act 2012 is an act that puts
forward different reforms to the benefits and tax credit system. When this act
was put into place, it mainly affected people of the working age; however,
there were a couple of changes that were made that affected older adults. These
changes made were towards the pension credit. Due to the reform getting rid of
housing benefits; it meant that there were changes to pension credit that would
entitle older adults to a new housing credit which would help them pay their
rent. Another change made that was beneficial to older adults, was for those
that have dependent children; this change meant that more money would be paid
to older adults, as the child tax credit was stopped (Age UK Rotherham, 2012).

Winter fuel payments originate from welfare
reforms; the winter fuel payment was put into place to help older adults with
heating costs from November to December. This scheme pays out tax free money to
older adults, so that they can provide heat in their home for the coldest
months. However, how much money is given all depends on an individual’s
circumstances. This initiative helps make a small dent into the fuel poverty
crisis by helping increase the overall income that older adults receive;
however, there is still a long way to go in order to eradicate fuel poverty
(Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Work and Pensions Committee,

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Food banks are linked to welfare reform; due to
the fact there are always changes being made to benefits, usually ‘cuts’
because of the increasing costs made to the welfare system. Due to older adults
missing out on different benefits and other support; many turn to the food
banks for help. Even though not a lot of the changes to the welfare system
greatly affect older adults; it has been reported that 1.6 million are living
in poverty’ and so even the smallest of changes can affect their lives, leading
them to fall on the support of organisations such as food banks (Age UK, 2014,
p.1; Pudram, 2017).


One way social care services provide care to
older adults is through domiciliary services, also known as home care services.
Domiciliary services are usually put together by local health units, that
provide care workers that come and visit their homes to help out with various
tasks. Domiciliary service is important because it is important for older
adults to maintain independence for as long as they can, and delay the need for
long term care elsewhere like a care home. Older adults usually consider
domiciliary care when they find it difficult to cope on their own with their
usual routines; they want to stay in their home and not be put into a care
home; still want their independence, but just need a little help with various
tasks; and if they want to stay close to their family and friends. The services
that these care workers provide are varied, for example, they help with
washing/dressing, cooking, shopping paying bills, providing companionship etc.
(Bland, 1996, p.60-61; McDonald, 2010, p.77-78).


Residential care is another service provided to
older adults in the UK that need long-term care. Residential care provides
older adults with accommodation, prepared meals, physical and emotional
support, and leisure activities. These older adults receive care from qualified
nurses, and have opportunities to build skills through arts and crafts,
gardening, exercise and games. Older adults that are having their homes funded
by the local authority, have the choice of which home they wish to reside in,
but within reason. If they choose a more expensive one, the local authority would
still fund some of the money, but not all; so, then friends or family would
have to help cover the rest of the cost, this is known as a ‘top-up’ fee.
Social services would also have to come and assess the care home; this is so
that they can assure the older adult’s needs will be met, and also to check
that they will not be paying any more than they need to.

These care homes provide older adults with
qualified nurses that are there to help aid them in any way they can, this can
be through emotional support by being there to listen to their worries, or
through physical support by helping them recover from an accident by doing
physio, or teaching them new skills etc. (Victor, 1997, p.144-161; NHS, 2015).


Another service provided to older adults is day
centers. Older adults tend to have a lot of free time on their hands, and many
can be quite lonely and depressed. However, day centers offer older adults
communal care which are usually staffed with either paid or voluntary carers.
The day centers usually help break up older adult’s days for a few hours, as
the staff provide different activities that can build new skills, enhance their
old skills, find new hobbies etc. One of the biggest reasons day centers were
opened for, were to help aid the functional abilities of older adults; this is
so the need for long-term care at a residential home/hospital will be either
delayed or completely prevented. Another big issue day centers help tackle, is
the feeling of loneliness, depression and anxiety. It is commonly known that
older adults can get quite lonely, with friends passing away and families
concentrating on their own lives, so it leaves them with quite a lot of time to
spend on their own; however, the day centers allow older adults to socialise
with new people and form friendships, possibly even finding a new partner.

Not only that, but the staff that work there
also provide a ‘shoulder’ to cry on, as they are deemed available to the older
adult’s needs; so, they are there to listen, offer advice and provide them with
companionship. This helps aid the fight to decrease the high rates of depressed
and lonely older adults. The day centers not only help older adults, but their
carers too; as it provides them respite so they can re-charge (Miller, 2009, p.


Overall, it can be seen that there are too many
older adults living in poverty and due to how bad the economical state the UK
is in, they will continue to suffer, as more cuts will be made and will put
older adults in a worse off position. It can be seen that many older adults are
living the life between food and fuel, and not receiving enough support about
different benefits they are entitled to, but have no knowledge about. However,
the UK do provide services out there that can help with the care needs of older
adults; especially when trying to prolong the time they have left before
long-term care is needed. However, it can also be seen that if older adults
want to receive the best care out there, whilst also getting the benefits of
stimulating leisure activities; they would need a large sum of money, or at
least have friends or family that can help acquire this. So, older adults that
have a better financial status will receive the best care out there, while the
rest will continue to struggle to survive to just about be over the poverty

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