One million elder people use care services in the UK – which is both a significant number and a big cost for UK Plc. A recent report from the BBC ( www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40499567) explained that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – which is the body charged with regulating / inspecting the care delivered in the UK – said that after inspecting 24,000 services: that 37% of Care homes failed on safety. A particular problem remained in the recruiting and retaining staff in all areas of endeavour.
Examples of the problems that the CQC found included:
Residents of homes who had been ‘put back to bed’ in the morning, as there was not enough staff to provide them with day – or living - support.
A resident who was left with serious burns after falling against an uncovered radiator
Incontinence pads that were not changed regularly, or worse still, were reused.
‘Drug errors’ – which are amongst the most serious of problems: such as one resident who died after errors with anti-blood clotting drugs.
Home-care service providers that missed calls completely, or who simply rushed visits to people in their homes.
CQC have prosecuted five care providers and 1,000 have had enforcement action taken against them (i.e. either they have been closed-down or issued with formal CQC warning notices).
A Public Health England report shows that women will spend almost one quarter of their lives in poor health and men one fifth of their lives:
As we might expect, those people who live in the most deprived areas in England have the lowest average life expectancy and those in areas with less deprivation have a higher average life expectancy.
But there are ways that people can live safely in their own homes and formal ways to assess whether and when people are ready to move into a care home, and places to find advice and support. However, the situation, in the health-care services, in the UK are starting to look very dire – especially when the carers are simply not available and paid so little when they are.
Does the care sector now need complete reform, and will this happen before we see the rate of negligence and mistakes rise further. Will we have to find a ‘Grenfell Tower” scenario in the care sector before something gets done?
We can only wait and see!
Cecilia Trueman today works for Independent Living Advisers (or ILA.life), and has previously managed care agencies, worked as a nurse in the NHS and independent organisations such as care homes and now runs a ‘nurse led’ care company to help people live in their homes for longer (and better).
Independent Living advisers (ILA) service provides healthcare professionals who work with their clients to define, organise and monitor the support they need. A ‘nurse-led’ personal adviser helps clients to make choices and to plan how they would like to live and will then support them to make any and all changes needed. Everyone has different needs and it could be that they would like help to alter their house to make it easier to live in; or to bring-in services to make living life easier and more enjoyable like cleaning, care or even an introduction to the many new aids available.
The ILA.life adviser can support the elder to manage their health needs by going to appointments with them to support with remembering the advice or planning as a result of the appointment.
When and if the elder would like to choose an alternative to living in their house then the adviser who is experienced in sourcing the most suited places can help and particularly because they know the person and can match more closely to their needs. The adviser knows the options and what to look for in sheltered accommodation residential care or nursing homes.
With no care or support people often end up in hospital and then have difficulty getting home. Without support to go home and settle as they recover, people often end up in care homes. ILA support people home and help recovery at home back to independent living. For more information call 01892 210100 or see http://www.ila.life
Other useful links:
Age UK advises families on a checklist to use on finding a home. To find out more view: www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/finding-a-care-home/
Independent Age: www.mailchi.mp/b857cd72e103/latest-advice-guides-launch-choosing-where-to-live-getting-help-at-home?e=4df290fc6e
UKHCA advice for choosing care: www.ukhca.co.uk/choosingcareadvice.aspx
NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/Pages/choosing-care-services.aspx