With advances in health care people are living longer, the projected growth rate is to speed up over the next 20 years. While it’s reported many older people remain well and engaged within society, increasing age also brings increased risks of long term medical conditions, frailty, dementia, disability, dependence or social isolation, (Oliver 2014).
NHS England’s mission (2014) is for high quality care for all; fitting into this framework is supporting older people to age well to improve their health and wellbeing.
A lot of work is being focused within the community to support older people maintaining their independence and prevent hospital admissions but there will still be a need for older people to be admitted into hospital settings. Many of our older population live in supported accommodation and long term care settings.
To avoid silo pathways of care where decisions are centred on single medical conditions or relating to the care environment, older people require a different kind of care management, one which is person centred incorporating all medical complaints including the psycho/social model where a person’s individual needs are identified and underpin the plan of care.
Changes in environment and routine have a huge impact on an older person’s health and wellbeing.
Much can be done in supporting our health and social care systems to address the needs of our older population who encounter hospital admissions, discharges to long term care facilities or receive care in the community, prevention strategies to support health and social care and prevent /reduce hospital admissions.