Who Cares? Prevention

Who Cares? event

Comments from Lisburn Discussion Event:

  • Prevention is key. A little bit of help can go a long way if it is something the client themselves feels will help them. We need to find a way to identify people’s needs earlier (GPs?) and get earlier interventions in order to be actually engaged in prevention. Early interventions could be involvement in physical activity, getting homes adapted to prevent falls, help with eating, befriending, good morning call etc.
  • People should try and stay healthy and fit, keep their mind active
  • When you are young you should have a care plan in place. Similar to the ‘message in a bottle’ – do you want to remain at home / in care, what is important for you as you get older – future vision for your life
  • Education / awareness on prevention should take place from a young age i.e. schools and home
  • Help needed earlier to plan for the future care of older people – individual health and well-being plans. Plan for a crisis so get them thinking earlier and get support from family/ next of kin.
  • Prevention is key – eye testing, podiatry, self management etc. Today’s social care is reactive not preventive.
  • One lady spoke of a friend who had her care package removed. The friend had been receiving home care 3 times a day but this had been cut back. The lady felt it would not be long till her friend would have to go into a care home as the friend could not cope living in the home since the care had been cut back.
  • Social Care should encourage and help people to get out and about and keep connected to their community. In the long run this provides significant prevention and helps keep people out of acute care.
  • Government are making people more aware of good health and health prevention – early intervention - in work in schools. Should probably spend more money to encourage people further in these things. .Example given of one health centre which offers a yearly check up to its clients. Perhaps should facilitate all health centres to do this?
  • Low level intervention services should be available without assessment procedures
  • Prevention must start earlier, not just after someone has had a problem.

Comments from the Omagh Discussion Event

  • Most people felt they have a good relationship with GPs and that they do a good job coordinating their care on all levels. They could wait 1-2 hours to see GP but generally there is good access.
  • Getting people out of hospital and back into their own homes as quickly as possible is a key element of social care (re-ablement and transition). Hospital aftercare should be a key focus of social services – returning people to be able to live at home again.
  • Prevention – Due to rise in prices in fuel and food older people are finding it more and more difficult to heat their houses or feed themselves healthily some having to choose between heating or eating thus falling into bad health
  • There are 4 levels of needs assessment and currently only the two top levels are funded. The table felt that if money was invested in funding these lower levels it would prevent having to spend more money in future on acute services. That’s real prevention.
  • Some people need low level support which is important like being taken to GP appointments, shopping etc and just having someone visit to make a cup of tea and talk with you. Giving these things helps keep people out of hospital.
  • Need to use technology better – early intervention/prevention – how can we use technology, and make sure technology is easy to use
  • Keeping active and being part of the community is important. E.g. craft classes; games; general chat over tea etc. Important to get out and about. Important that you look after yourself i.e. eat well, exercise, reading to stay mentally alert, socially active
  • Re-ablement – concentrated domiciliary care for 6 weeks to stop readmission to hospital try to get the older person on their feet with a proper care package so they can keep their independence. A pilot is taking place in East Belfast and if proving quite successful - should be rolled out to all areas city and rural.
  • More thought must be given to preventing further problems and deterioration in older people; cost of supporting this type of prevention would save government money in the long run
Age NI Advice Line:
0808 808 7575

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