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New guide to improve care of ex-service men and women

A new guide has been launched to help care homes provide better support for the hundreds of thousands* of ex-service men and women in assisted living in the UK.

Produced by Demos think tank, in partnership with the Forces in Mind Trust and the Care Cluster of Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities), the guide will be sent to all UK care homes and care home provider headquarters.

Polly Mackenzie, Director of Demos says: “We created this guide in response to our 2015 report Under-Served. The report found that veterans can face a range of challenges while living in residential care, yet managers and staff lack the information and resources they needed to know how best to support them. The aim of the guide is to fill that gap.”

‘Supporting Military Veterans in Residential Care – a practical guide’, provides five practical steps to help care home managers, staff and local authority commissioners to understand more about how to support ex-service men and women living in residential care. It draws on best practice and offers tips and resources to make it easier to deliver bespoke care.

Ray Lock Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust says: “’Dignity’ and ‘respect’ should be the watch words when it comes to the care of those who served in the Armed Forces. For many, it is central to their identity. Getting it right for veterans means being aware of the service they served in, their rank and the sort of service and deployments they saw. The message is clear: do your homework, and shape support plans to fit.”

Andy Cole, Chair, Care Cluster of Cobseo, says: “By the end of the decade, a quarter of a million veterans and their dependents will need residential or nursing care, with over 40,000 veterans living with dementia. This guide offers practical support and advice to care homes across the country about how a growing population of veterans can be even better supported.” Ray Lock Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust: supporting Ex-service men and women

For more information on caring for ex-service men and women, see

*From the Demos Guide: There is no official register of veterans in the UK, or any way of knowing precisely how many live in residential care settings. We think there are around 2.8 million veterans (around 1.1 million of whom are aged 16–65 and 1.7 million over 65) in the UK, with up to around 300,000 veterans living in “community settings” (which includes residential care).

Although we don’t know exactly how many veterans live in care homes, it is very likely that residents over 70 will include a large proportion of those who were called to National Service, and therefore have a military background and first-hand service experience.

About Demos:

Demos is the UK’s leading cross-party think tank, with a 25-year heritage of championing people, ideas, and democracy. We produce original research, publish innovative thinkers and host thought-provoking events.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

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