Personal budgets for personal care for older people

personal care

More Personal Budgets for personal care for older people


This is the first article  for “Caron Cares” from Professor Jason L. Powell M.A.  P.H.D. who has to my delight agreed to write for me.

Jason is a respected and reknown  Professor of Social Gerontologist and published author.

I am honoured and priviledged to have HIM join my team. This is what he has sent me.


More Personal Budgets for personal care for older people

It is a great honour and special privilege to be asked to provide short blog commentaries over the next year for Caron Cares.

Caron Sprake is one of the most passionate of people I have known who fights for the needs and rights of older people. Like her, I have had a deep interest in the experiences of older people for many years. I have interests in personal care; social work with older people; ageing identity; comparative ageing; and health and social care policy.

This first article explores do we need more personal budgets for older people in England as is advocated by the Cameron/Clegg Coalition government? What are the implications?

Ironically, it was under New Labour that personalisation services developed in England as a social policy response to user demands for more tailored and flexible forms of health and social care support. Further, this process is also seen as a vehicle for promoting service user rights through increasing participation, empowerment and control while also promoting self-restraint by having (important to note) ‘users’ or their carers manage the costs of their own health and social care.

Self-assessment is a cornerstone of personalisation that gives service users the opportunity to assess their own care and support needs and decide how their Personal Budgets are spent that is a process transforming social care. This was piloted around a number of local authorities and subsequently is advocated by David Cameron as an important policy issue for every local authority as of 2013.

The question to ask is: why is David Cameron advocating personal budgets for personal care for older people to be managed by older people or their carers themselves? The important point to note, if care needs are not met, or not affordable, or not monitored, then for Cameron, do not look at the Government. Instead, look at the self-constructed ‘Big Society’ – a euphemism for individuals and communities to manage their own affairs.

Putting the emphasis onto older people is a form of ‘buck passing’ which radically changes the State’s role as provider as advocated by the architects of the welfare state in 1945. If money is not spent accordingly, then the buck passing will be framed as an individualised problem by older people and their carers rather than the policies and destructive lack of resources taken out of local authorities by the CentralState.

Equally, questions of accountability are frequently dodged by Government as the emphasis is put onto individuals rather than to elected representatives. Personal care is important for older people but for the Government the most important aspect is care policy which “devolves power and budgets” to individuals and local communities which masks wider questions of accountability of the State to provide a care system that is fully funded, addresses safeguarding against potential financial ‘elder abuse’ by external control of resources and ultimately provides clear lines of accountability for carers, local authorities and also the Central State.

Older people deserve no less; so that their human rights and opportunities for personalised self-governance are fully facilitated and actually realised.

 Jason L. Powell, Ph.D.

Professor of Social Gerontology,

Associate Dean of Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,



Priory Street,



Web page:


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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