Editorial

Editorial Ron Iphofen Editor This issue sustains a particular focus on quality in welfare, housing, life values and end of life, so it seems appropriate that we open with a fairly comprehensive paper from Liz Gill, Lesley White and Ian Cameron looking in detail at the measurement of quality in health service delivery. Objective measurements of quality can only be linked to organisational performance and audit while subjective measurements of ‘patient satisfaction’ are inevitably flawed by the context in which such views are sought and who is doing the asking. This paper presents a modified version of a multi-dimensional measurement of the patient’s view of health service delivery that, in being holistic, could offer considerable service improvement in transitional aged care. To follow, Margaret Hodgins and Verna McKenna have provided us with a comprehensive review of current social welfare, housing and health policy in Ireland with a focus on provisions for older people. Their particular concern is with how these combined policy portfolios influence the quality of life for older people. Irish policy emphasises community-based care but older people who wish to remain in their own homes have extra care needs that housing policy must address more fully. Ongoing maintenance demands and changes in accessibility within the home are vital areas for attention. As trends shift toward the expectation of more active, even healthier ageing, the linkage between health, welfare and housing policies becomes even more important. The concern with quality of life in the ‘fourth age’ is sustained in Ben Bano and Susan Mary Benbow’s paper, which examines how spiritual and self-transcendent needs are catered for 10.5042/qiaoa.2010.0283 in the community and in care settings. They offer some challenging thoughts about what needs to be ‘added’ to life as we age and what concerns of earlier life can be ‘left behind’. While the pressures associated with earning a living should diminish, many values sought in earlier life can be attained with age so long as older people continue to be included in the community. So policy agendas focusing on personhood and social inclusion need to be mindful of the values and aspirations still being sought by older people. Daniel Briggs has offered us some extra insight into the complex relationships that need careful management during end of life care. Even in such a sensitive area, and when people are so vulnerable, it is surprising to find how the mundanities of inter-agency working and bureaucratic obstacles can impede the good intentions of so many. This has always been a delicate field of research and knowing how to ask the right questions in the right ways is vital to successful outcomes – not only for the validity of the research, but also the effectiveness of implementing findings. Daniel’s previous work in interviewing in difficult arenas on sensitive topics undoubtedly offers supportive skills that are appropriate in researching end of life care in general, but particularly with older people and their carers. Finally, Annie Stevenson reports on the inaugural Age UK conference and her piece shows the same undercurrents in ageing politics that have recurred over the years. The new organisation will still have to find ways to reconcile these, equally valid, pressures upon policy and practice. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults • Volume 11 Issue 2 • June 2010 © Pier Professional Ltd http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Pier Professional

Editorial

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Volume 11 (2) – Jun 1, 2010

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Publisher
Pier Professional
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Pier Professional Limited
ISSN
1471-7794
eISSN
2042-8766
DOI
10.5042/qiaoa.2010.0283
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ron Iphofen Editor This issue sustains a particular focus on quality in welfare, housing, life values and end of life, so it seems appropriate that we open with a fairly comprehensive paper from Liz Gill, Lesley White and Ian Cameron looking in detail at the measurement of quality in health service delivery. Objective measurements of quality can only be linked to organisational performance and audit while subjective measurements of ‘patient satisfaction’ are inevitably flawed by the context in which such views are sought and who is doing the asking. This paper presents a modified version of a multi-dimensional measurement of the patient’s view of health service delivery that, in being holistic, could offer considerable service improvement in transitional aged care. To follow, Margaret Hodgins and Verna McKenna have provided us with a comprehensive review of current social welfare, housing and health policy in Ireland with a focus on provisions for older people. Their particular concern is with how these combined policy portfolios influence the quality of life for older people. Irish policy emphasises community-based care but older people who wish to remain in their own homes have extra care needs that housing policy must address more fully. Ongoing maintenance demands and changes in accessibility within the home are vital areas for attention. As trends shift toward the expectation of more active, even healthier ageing, the linkage between health, welfare and housing policies becomes even more important. The concern with quality of life in the ‘fourth age’ is sustained in Ben Bano and Susan Mary Benbow’s paper, which examines how spiritual and self-transcendent needs are catered for 10.5042/qiaoa.2010.0283 in the community and in care settings. They offer some challenging thoughts about what needs to be ‘added’ to life as we age and what concerns of earlier life can be ‘left behind’. While the pressures associated with earning a living should diminish, many values sought in earlier life can be attained with age so long as older people continue to be included in the community. So policy agendas focusing on personhood and social inclusion need to be mindful of the values and aspirations still being sought by older people. Daniel Briggs has offered us some extra insight into the complex relationships that need careful management during end of life care. Even in such a sensitive area, and when people are so vulnerable, it is surprising to find how the mundanities of inter-agency working and bureaucratic obstacles can impede the good intentions of so many. This has always been a delicate field of research and knowing how to ask the right questions in the right ways is vital to successful outcomes – not only for the validity of the research, but also the effectiveness of implementing findings. Daniel’s previous work in interviewing in difficult arenas on sensitive topics undoubtedly offers supportive skills that are appropriate in researching end of life care in general, but particularly with older people and their carers. Finally, Annie Stevenson reports on the inaugural Age UK conference and her piece shows the same undercurrents in ageing politics that have recurred over the years. The new organisation will still have to find ways to reconcile these, equally valid, pressures upon policy and practice. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults • Volume 11 Issue 2 • June 2010 © Pier Professional Ltd

Journal

Quality in Ageing and Older AdultsPier Professional

Published: Jun 1, 2010

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