Older people and deficiencies in the formal care system
This chapter explores the problem of abuse within care home settings. It will question whether the solution to concerns over the quality of care for older people in care homes lies primarily with further legal regulation. There are three primary reasons for this scepticism. First, legal interventions inspections fail to tackle ageism which is the root cause of the problem of care home provision. Second, legal inspections tend to promote standard approaches and formulas rather than individualised response to older people and their needs. Third, the law typically promotes minimum standards rather than seeking the highest standards. This chapter also explores the difficulties of responding to abuse in care home, relying on Fraser’s themes of resources, recognition and representation. The chapter argues that the issue, in fact, reflects the exclusion of and marginalisation of older people in our society, reinforced by private and public expressions of ageism. These combine to reinforce and enable elder abuse to take place. The solution lies not in producing further legislation or more thorough inspection, but in focusing on meaningful relationships between residents and staff, both among and between those groups.