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Achieving the balance between safety and the right of nursing home residents to dignity, choice and self-determination is a challenging issue.
Families caring for older people worry particularly about the safety of their vulnerable relatives. It is often such concern about safety that prompts the final decision to seek nursing home care. In many cases this follows a lengthy period of care in the community where the physical safety of older people may be compromised to respect their right to self-determination and choice. For many families, underpinning the decision to opt for institutional care is the belief that at least their relative will now be safe.
With demographic trends predicting an increase in the number of older people and a reduction in the number of carers,1 it is likely that admission to nursing homes will continue to increase. In light of this, initiatives such as the National Service Framework for Older People2 and the “Essence of Care” benchmarking project3 are setting new standards of care for older people. In his paper in this issue of QSHC, Kapp4 highlights many issues that people with an interest in the health and social …
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