How to make people truly love their later life

Age UK’s Integrated Care project team manager gives a taste of what the charity will be presenting at Expo 2015’s Pop Up University:

At Age UK, we are passionate about making the UK a great place to grow old and to make it possible for everyone to truly love later life.

One group who may find this particularly difficult is those with long-term conditions such as diabetes or dementia. So often these older people are defined and treated on the basis of their condition, and not on what they want or who they are.

All too often they receive uncoordinated, confusing and sometimes conflicting information or direct care and support. It is still too rare that we hear this group are getting the personalised, integrated care and support they need to live independent lives. Instead they find themselves repeatedly in and out of hospital with no sustainable plan to keep them fit and well.

We don’t claim to have all the answers, but Age UK’s Integrated Care model is going some way to solving this issue. We will be at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in a few weeks’ time to host a pop-up university session to explain how it works in practice.

The session will take a look at our unique programme, which brings together voluntary, and health and care organisations in local areas to support some of the most vulnerable older people in our country.

Working with older people, their families and carers, and local services, we have developed an approach that is truly person-centred and effective in improving older people’s health and wellbeing. In the process we hope to reduce unplanned hospital admissions, deliver care more efficiently and bring transformational change to the whole system.

Although we’ve still got a long way to go in delivering the programme and refining results, so far the model appears to be working.

With a 49% reduction in unplanned hospital admissions, 20% improvement in well-being and 8% reduction in social care costs in our pathfinder pilot in Cornwall, we are hopeful that we’ve found part of the solution to the funding and quality crisis that we’re facing across the health and social care system.

If you want to find out more, come along to our workshop at Health and Care Innovation Expo on 3 September at 2pm. More information can be found here.

Sian Brookes

Sian Brookes is a Project Manager in the Integrated Care team at Age UK.

She is currently working on the Integrated Care Pilot sites in Sheffield, Redbridge, Barking and Havering and Kent and is also working on developing new models of care.

She also provides project management support in the Programme’s Communications Strategy and most recently established a series of pilot programmes focused on Wellbeing Co-ordinators.

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