Sheelagh Donovan works in the Information and Advice Department at Age UK, writing health information for our publications and website. Sheelagh talks about a new guide on caring that she recently worked on.
Caring can be a central part of many older people’s lives. For many who have partners and spouses, it can be an expected and valued part of ageing together, so much so that they may fail to see themselves as carers.
For others, it is a no less valuable part of a friendship. As many of us live longer, it is not unusual for people in their 50s and 60s to be caring for older parents while also supporting grandchildren or a disabled adult child. Continue reading “A practical guide to health caring”
Integrated care is one of the most important concepts in healthcare today.
For those unfamiliar, integrated care is a way of coordinating bodies from across health and social care to deliver truly personalised care for individuals. It moves the system away from an ‘episodic,’ fragmented care model to one that’s more continuous and seamless.
At Age UK, our Personalised Integrated Care Programme continues to expand and our interim evaluation results show it going from strength to strength.
Yewande Ipaye from the NHS Constitutionteam at the Department of Health writes about promoting awareness of the NHS Constitution, and how it helps people to understand what they can expect from the NHS.
Recently I joined the NHS Constitution (NHSC) team at the Department of Health. Prior to joining the team, I had only heard about the existence of the NHS Constitution, despite being in the same Unit. Like many others, I had never seen it, let alone used it.
What’s really happening in health and social care services? Over the years, in our Care in Crisis serieswe documented the devastating budget cuts that meant fewer and fewer people were getting public support for help with their day to day activities.
Trends in the NHS
But what about the NHS? Hasn’t it been protected through the last five years of cuts in public services? If so, what lay behind last year’s winter crisis? And why is Monitor, the health services financial regulator, now talking about the ‘worst financial crisis in a generation’?
These are the kinds of questions people are now asking and in our new report we try to answer them. We have updated our usual annual analysis of trends in social care and added analysis of trends in the NHS. We present the most authoritative and up to date facts and figures to understand older people’s health and care needs and the extent to which these are being met by our health and care systems. Continue reading “Launch of Age UK report on Health and care of older people in England”
Katie Walkin is a Business Manager in the long-term conditions team atNHS England. Katie recently joined Age UK on a short-term secondment, bringing her experience and insights from working with the NHS to Age UK’s health policy programme. In this blog, Katie writes about her experiences in producing two editions of a ‘Practical Guide to Healthy Ageing’.
Being able to stay healthy in later life is a crucial issue for all of us. We know that older people often do not feel supported to look after their own health, particularly people with multiple long term conditions, including frailty. This has a detrimental impact on their quality of life and health outcomes.
NHS England recognised there were lots of very good detailed individual guides to support older people look after their health, but there wasn’t always a single place for people to go. Improving older people’s care is increasingly a priority for the NHS, so my team set out to produce such a guide, working with the National Clinical Director for Frailtyand Age UK.
We set out to produce a readable and practical guide that helped people to stay physically and mentally well by providing hints and tips on how to keep fit and independent. It recognised, as we all should, that there is always something we can do to improve our health and wellbeing. For older people who may be starting to find things more difficult to do, it is particularly important to take active steps to slow down or reverse some of the health challenges we are all likely to face. Continue reading “Guest blog: A practical guide to healthy ageing”
In health care, the word ‘frailty’ carries a lot of baggage. In its most positive sense, it is a phrase used by older people’s specialists to describe a particular state of health, usually characterised by multiple or complex physical and mental health and social needs.
This can then be a gateway to proactive care and support joined-up around the individual.
At the less positive end, it is a shorthand for older people in later old age, with multiple long-term conditions that are almost too difficult to manage. In this case the so-called ‘frail elderly’ may be recognised for having high needs but thought of as almost beyond help and given little support.
A new report out this week shows that older patients face a “widespread and systematic” pattern of inadequate care in hospitals.
The report from the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the LSE, shows one million older people in later life are affected by poor or inconsistent standards of dignity and 1 in 3 people who needed help with eating in hospitals were not consistently receiving it.
The research has broken down data in the Adult Inpatient Survey for 2012 to provide this fresh, detailed picture of older people’s experiences during hospital stays. The report has developed a new approach to analysing the results, one that looks at the relative risks of receiving poor care as well as the overall numbers of people affected. And the results are deeply concerning. Continue reading “Dignity standards still lacking in hospitals”