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Older People and Participation within Disabled Facilities Grant Processes

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As the numbers of older people increase, adapted home environments have become an essential requirement to support independent living. This article presents a qualitative study examining the perceptions of older people using Disabled Facilities Grants to acquire home adaptations.

Using a participatory action research approach and within-method triangulation, the participatory processes of two local authorities and a Care & Repair agency were explored. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with nine service users and seven key adaptation agency workers, in addition to the examination of agency documentation. The data were manually categorised and analysed, using both within-case and cross-case analysis.

The findings demonstrated that the publicity of grants was poor. Service users' experiences varied depending on the levels of support that were available. In addition to paper-based feedback methods, examples of organisational participative mechanisms included a disability forum and a service user group. There was no specific mechanism adopted primarily for older people but, significantly, the older service users welcomed opportunities to express their views. Overall, the participatory levels were low, with emphasis on sensitising services to users' needs (agency controlled) rather than on moves towards greater democratic involvement (user controlled). Further work is required to encourage older people's participation in shaping and controlling service delivery thereby improving the quality of practice in this area.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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