’It pays dividends’

Direct payments and older people

Heather Clark, Helen Gough, and Ann Macfarlane

’It pays dividends’

Heather Clark, Helen Gough, and Ann Macfarlane

Distributed for Bristol University Press

72 pages
Paper $25.95 ISBN: 9781861345806 Published February 2004 For sale in North and South America only
Direct payments have been available to older people receiving community care services in the UK since February 2000. However, scepticism remains about older people’s desire and ability to use direct payments and take-up so far has been low. Drawing on interviews with older people, local authority care managers and direct payments support service workers, this topical report looks at how older people use direct payments and how they make them work. It considers the role of direct payments support services and local authority care managers in making direct payments a real option for older people. The report is particularly valuable in reflecting the views and experiences of older people themselves.

Executive summary


Policy context

The research

Discovering and choosing direct payments

Using direct payments to employ personal assistants

Using direct payments to purchase agency services

Restrictions and flexibility in the use of direct payments

Managing the money

Meeting the administrative and financial demands

Value of direct payments to older people

The age divide

Independent living

The care managers' perspectives

The importance of support services in making direct payments work for older people

Funding of support services


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