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Vulnerable Adults

Key messages (November 2019)

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Wirral Market Position Statement: Overview of needs (2016): Key Messages for Adult Social Care in Wirral
This report provides an overview of local current and future population estimates aligned to key issues relating to the social care client group - in service and potential future service users.

Estimates from the Population Ageing and Care Simulation (PACSim) modelling study (October 2018) 
This study models the growing need for social care in older people using PACSim, a dynamic microsimulation model. It finds that, in the next 20 years, the English population aged 65 years or over will see increases in the number of individuals who are independent but also in those with complex care needs. This increase is due to more individuals reaching 85 years or older who have higher levels of dependency, dementia, and comorbidity.

Background

All children are considered vulnerable by virtue of their age and immaturity, but which adults can be considered ‘vulnerable’?

Many people think of adults as being vulnerable if they’re permanently or temporarily unable to care for themselves and their interests, either through a mental or physical cause.

Vulnerable adults are open to risks of psychological and physical harm or being exploited for other people’s benefit.

The following groups of people could be considered as ‘vulnerable adults’:

  • older people who are physically or mentally frail
  • people with learning disabilities
  • people with a mental health condition such as dementia or personality disorder
  • people who are ill and need help to carry out normal daily functions
  • people with physical disabilities
  • people who have undergone a recent trauma – a bereavement, a divorce or loss of a job, for instance
  • people who, for whatever reason, are in abusive relationships or are homeless.

But care needs to be taken about who are considered ‘vulnerable’. Just because someone is, for instance, older, or has a mental health condition or a learning disability, or has a physical disability, they are not necessarily ‘vulnerable’. Indeed, they may take great offence if you were to consider them so. Everyone needs to be wary of applying ‘labels’ to the people in our care.

it is also important to recognise that being vulnerable isn’t necessarily a long-term state. People who come into hospital for operations, for instance, will be very vulnerable immediately before, during and after the operation when they are not able to care for themselves and rely on health care staff to protect them and ensure their well-being. But in the vast majority of cases they will soon be completely independent again, so the vulnerable state is only temporary.

Individuals want to live rich and fulfilling lives, participating in their local community and contributing to its vibrancy. Families want this for their loved ones too.

They, and society at large, also want to ensure that those who need care and support – whether a young learning-disabled person or a 90 year-old with dementia – are supported in ways which enable them to feel safe, happy and where possible to take part in the life of their community. 

Those who work in or receive adult social care services recognise this. This is the core social purpose of care and support – not to control people’s lives for them but to work with them as equal partners to help them achieve what they want from life.

The vision and aims of the Government’s White Paper, Caring for our future (2012) include:

  • Choice and control
  • Working in partnership
  • Personalised care
  • Keeping people healthy and involved with their communities

Social care (‘care’) comprises personal care and practical support for adults with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, or physical or mental illnesses, as well as support for their carers. 

Adults’ care needs are often multiple and interrelated with other needs. Adult social care is therefore part of a complex system of related public services and forms of support.

How well services meet adults’ needs depends on all parts of the system working together. For example, good medical management of long-term conditions can prevent a person developing care needs, and welfare benefits can maintain independent living.

Wirral Market Position Statement for Wirral Health & Care Commissioning (2019 - 2024)
This Market Position Statement describes to the market WH&CC commissioning intentions in the future, and what will be the main priorities. Links to the Wirral Intelligence service and other intelligence sources will help providers of care and third sector to research Local Intelligence to support their business thinking and decision making.

Wirral Market Position Statement for Wirral Health & Care Commissioning (2019 - 2024)
This Market Position Statement describes to the market WH&CC commissioning intentions in the future, and what will be the main priorities. Links to the Wirral Intelligence service and other intelligence sources will help providers of care and third sector to research Local Intelligence to support their business thinking and decision making.