This study reports on how and why older people became involved in policy and planning initiatives. The involvement of older people in planning and evaluating services is high on the policy agenda for many organisations. Using five different case studies this report maps out the ways in which older people got involved, offering ideas for other organisations and for older people themselves. The report explores the key issues that need to be considered, as well as drawing out good practice from the schemes studied. The schemes include: a group which set up care services for older people; a Citizen's jury which developed policy for older people; a project to meet the diverse needs of older people in one locality; a scheme to provide accessible repair and maintenance services and an initiative to design a house for older people. The report presents a number of indicators for involvement, including the factors, processes and infrastructure that need to be in place, to guide anyone wishing to involve older people in service planning and policy.
Jan Reed, RN, PhD is Professor of Health Care for Older People and Co-director of the Centre for Care for Older People, Northumbria University. Glenda Cook, RGN, RNT, BSc (Hons) (Psy.); MA (Medical Ethics). Glenda's research concerns the care of older people and focuses on developing practice and services that address need as defined by older people themselves. Her recent work has involved working with older people as partners in the research process. Vera Bolter, BA Dip. Soc-studies, has a long-standing involvement in promoting the interests of the users of health and care services, in working life as secretary of a Community Health Council and in retirement as Chair of Action Health - Senior Citizens in Newcastle. Barbara Douglas is Co-ordinator of the Older People's Quality of Life Partnership in Newcastle. Barbara has worked on older people's issues over the last ten years as co-ordinator of an older people's programme, which has gone through various phases of development, including being part of the Better Government for Older People programme.