All posts by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

Accessibility and informational barriers to an age friendly railway

 Being mobile and able to travel in later life is linked to a good quality of life. Against a backdrop of an increase in the number of older people in the UK and an increase in the amount of travel per person for this age group, the number of older people using the railway is in decline. The purpose of this paper was to report on an investigation on issues around accessibility and information provision for older rail passengers.

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Source: Centre for Policy on Ageing – Ageinfo211029208

JR West Develops Automatic Ramp for Wheelchair Passengers

The system automatically extends a stainless ramp when a train arrives at a station platform.
This is the first device in Japan that simultaneously eliminates any vertical or horizontal gap between the platform and the train door

Barrier Free Japan

From Jiji Press

November 17 2021

OSAKA – West Japan Railway Co said Wednesday that it has developed an automatic ramp system designed to help wheelchair users get on and off trains. The system automatically extends a stainless ramp when a train arrives at a station platform.

This is the first device in Japan that simultaneously eliminates any vertical or horizontal gap between the platform and the train door, according to the company, better known as JR West.

JR West plans to conduct demonstration tests until February next year, aiming to put it into practical use in a few years.

The ramp is about 3.6 meters wide and some 1.5 meters long. When a censor at a station detects that a train has stopped, the ramp installed at the end of the platform will automatically come out in about five seconds, causing no delay in the train schedule.

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Andrew Dilnot is right: the public needs a new story of social care

“…many of us have a view of social care as representing loss rather than gain, as something to be avoided, not something that could help us to maintain our wellbeing and life goals, these messages are just feeding the beast. They reinforce an association between social care and death – the ultimate fatalistic thought. And in the face of death we turn away for as long as we are able to.”

By Neil Crowther

It was fascinating listening to Andrew Dilnot at yesterday’s Treasury Select Committee on social care funding, talking not only about the detail of the government’s latest proposals, but crucially about the importance of winning media, political, and public support to increase investment to a level necessary to achieve the kind of support we might have reason to value.

Dilnot noted how the government’s funding proposals, the detail of which was published on Wednesday, amounted to the first time any significant increase in spending on social care has been committed by a government for 40 years, but that this fact and the inadequacies of the proposals pointed to how ‘social care simply hasn’t attracted political, public or media support proportionate to its needs…….so I do think the proposed settlement is inadequate, but that’s a problem that implies criticism of all of our institutions and we all need to…

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I Spent 44 Years Studying Retirement. Then I Retired.

When you have worked from home for 20+ years the transition to retirement is different.

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

“The Enigma of Arrival” is the title and theme of a novel by the Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul. What is it about arrival that is mysterious? Simply that one’s imagination of a destination, even a place for which one has prepared and striven, will never quite be one’s eventual experience of the place.

I am now retired for a year and a half, and if anybody should have known what to expect in this new stage of life, it was me. I have made retirement the primary focus of my academic scholarship as a sociologist all the way back to my first published article in 1976. At that time, I told my mother that I was going to study aging, and she asked me across our generational gap, “What do you know about it?” It was a fair question.

So I learned. Through surveys and interviews, I have explored how…

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All I want is a good death. Is that too much to ask?

“We die in hospitals in the most unpleasant way, hooked up to tubes and machinery that unnecessarily delays the inevitable. Our lives may be prolonged slightly but the declining quality of life is hardly worth the price of suffering.”

Eye View

Like most Canadians, I’d like to die in my home surrounded by friends and family.

Or second best, a home-like setting like the lovely Kamloops Hospice House.  That peaceful setting is where my wife spent her last days as she was dying of cancer.

Kamloops Hospice House. image: CFJC Today

But contrary to Canadian’s wishes, only 15 per cent die at home.

More often we die in hospitals; more than comparable countries. Most Canadians, 61 percent, die in hospital. Far more than the Netherlands at 30 per cent. And although we like to boast about our health care system, only 20 per cent of Americans die in hospitals according to a report from the C.D. Howe Institute (Globe and Mail, Oct. 26, 2021).

We die in hospitals in the most unpleasant way, hooked up to tubes and machinery that unnecessarily delays the inevitable. Our lives may be prolonged slightly but…

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What’s Going to Happen to All the Crap I’ve Accumulated When I Die?

“We may be choosing cremation over burial these days, but self-storage units serve as the new cemeteries: hilltop monuments to our impoverished pasts, tributes to our heady successes, funerary urns holding all that will be left of us after we’re gone. I’ve come to think of them as shrines…”

the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers® blog

All across America, we boomers are finding ourselves stuck with heirlooms and mementos that we can’t give away. By Sandy Hingston, Philly Magazine (October 2021).

You gather up a lot of flotsam and jetsam in a lifetime. What happens to all your stuff after you die? Illustration by Nathan Hackett

Not too long ago, we had guests over to the house — a rare event anymore, even as we all slowly reenter the World of Other People. The occasion was an annual picnic we host for relatives, back on again after a summer skipped because of COVID. As I welcomed the first arrivals in the living room, I felt compelled to apologize for all the crapola lining my bookcase shelves. I could see my niece and nephew taking in the array of ancient elementary-school art projects, nesting dolls, Rubik’s Cubes, animal carvings, music boxes and pieces of driftwood with a…

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The Match Day Ritual

The Food of Football Stadiums

Food and football, it seems, are closely entwined. If you support a team, I’m sure you have your own food-based match day ritual, one which has been denied to you for the last 18 months. It might be your favourite takeaway near the stadium, or an opportunist stall that pops up and disappears every other weekend, or it might even be food in the stadium itself. Each ritual reflects both personal and communal histories, sometimes passed down from father to child, or sometimes rituals created from scratch. And as you’ll see in today’s newsletter, despite once local fans scattered like a diaspora, despite the invention of half and half scarfs, and even despite the homogenous world of Pukka, there is still nothing more hyper-regional, nothing that speaks more to a sense of place, to a community, than a well constructed pie.

Read the Vittles blog in full at… off to the match now...

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Words that make me go hmmm: Care

Rewriting social care


We use the term all the time.

Care is described in a plan and delivered in a package.

Care has a start date and an end date. It comes in episodes. Time frames. Short-term. Temporary. Intermediate. Respite. Long-term. End-of-life.

Care has a cost. A fee. An invoice. A payment date.

Care has records and logs and notes and charts. Risk assessments. Rotas. Timesheets.

Care wears a uniform.

Care is a task. It’s done to, and for.

Care is a setting. Somewhere to ‘place’ ‘the vulnerable’.

Care is a service. A system. A sector.

Care is for ‘others’.

Care for others

Much of what makes me go hmmm about the term ‘care’ is encapsulated in the Department of Health and Social Care’s latest campaign to recruit more people to work in adult social care.

The campaign is called ‘Care for others. Make a difference’[1].

Let’s break that down.

‘Care for’…

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