It is generally accepted that elderly people fare best when care is provided in their own homes. However, some conditions require more intensive management than can be provided in the community. The admission of elderly patients to hospital, their treatment and subsequent discharge can prove challenging. Whilst self-sufficiency depends a lot on the underlying condition, delivering a package of care to an acceptable standard can make the difference between an individual who is a self-sufficient functioning member of the community and one who is disabled and dependent.
The Department of Health recognise the importance of providing quality care to the elderly and has produced a raft of guidelines outlining the sort of issues which need to be considered when planning services. Many of these are enshrined in the National Service Framework for Older People. A White Paper addressing the social aspects of elderly care, 'Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community services', was published in 2006.
Concerns have been expressed about the standard of nutrition which elderly patients have received in hospital. This has prompted Age UK to issue its guidance 'Seven Steps To End Malnutrition'. Age discrimination
Patients should be treated according to clinical need rather than age. This might seem self-evident but may present pragmatic difficulties. Some clinicians might balk at the idea of referring an 85 year-old for coronary artery bypass surgery but, if the patient is otherwise fit for surgery and wants the operation, they should be offered the chance to have it. A report, 'Achieving Age Equality in Health and Social Care', was published in 2009 containing various recommendations supporting the concept of equality in healthcare for the elderly. Save time & improve your PDP on Patient.co.uk
Add notes to any clinical page and create a reflective diary Automatically track and log every page you have viewed
Print and export a summary to use in your appraisal
Click to find out more »
Patients should be treated as individuals and empowered to make choices about their own care. This involves providing information in a form that patients can understand and listening to their views and the views of their carers. Preserving dignity in a hospital setting is a major objective and includes separate toilet and washing facilities, single-sex wards and safe care for patients will mental disorders. The Government has announced that it will end the indignity of mixed-sex wards by the end of 2010.
Another raft of guidance involves the provision of end of life care and, whilst this may be of more relevant to community and palliative care services, it also impacts on community hospitals. Intermediate care
The aim here is to relieve pressure on acute hospital beds and provide care in a more community-based setting. The principles are the same whether care is provided by intermediate care teams in the patient's own home or in an intermediate care facility. The goal is to restore the patient to full function and avoid the need for long-term care by providing integrated rehabilitative support. Specialist care whilst in hospital
With the change in demography in the UK, a significant proportion of people in hospital are now aged over 65 and secondary care needs to provide services tailored to the needs of its elderly population. The emphasis has been on improving access to care and the last few years have seen a significant increase in the number of elderly patients being admitted for cataract surgery, hip or knee replacements and interventional cardiac surgery. In addition to traditional geratologists and consultants in care of the elderly, many hospitals have set up specialist multidisciplinary teams led by nurses ('modern matrons' or nurse consultants) focusing on the needs of the elderly whilst in hospital and on discharge. Stroke care
Evidence suggests that stroke patients...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document