The social care system has been back in the news this August following the publishing of yet another report. A team led by Jon Glasby, a professor of health & social care at the University of Birmingham, says that without swift government intervention, including urgent reform to funding, the UK’s adult social care system could quickly become unsustainable; particularly affecting services for older people.
One of the shortcomings about the social care debate, however, is that state provision is so often driven by crisis and centred on funding levels. It may be that an elderly person has a series of falls in quick succession and then suddenly finds themselves in a care home – a home not of their own choosing, but on the basis of availability.
At ILA however, while providing at home services, we prefer to focus on the principles of early intervention; prevention and timely intervention – working in a long-term relationship with the client and any included family in order to arrange the right level of care, as and when it is needed. In this way, we aim to assist clients to remain in their own home as long as possible and practical. Many clients can be in denial and initially resistant to help of course, so the careful building of these relationships and the gradual gaining of trust is paramount.
In this blog, we look at an example of what an ILA client journey might be: -
Introducing a care agency to do some social visits and provide reminders about taking medication
Support to help keep appointments with the GP
Help with securing a personal alarm and working smoke alarm
Securing some ready meals to ease the pressure on shopping and cooking
Advice on the purchasing and plumbing in of a new washing machine to help with personal care
Helping to arrange regular haircuts and visits by a chiropodist
Sourcing a window cleaner and reliable handy person to help with home maintenance
Arranging a visiting optician as a result of missed appointments and helping to re-book any other missed medical appointments
Alerting the District Nurse about physical health issues
Recognising the need and helping the nearest relative to complete Power of Attorney applications (e.g. in advance of further deterioration of the client’s mental health)
Visiting the client in hospital with any necessary provisions and then making sure everything is in place for their discharge
Arranging (by request) a home cleaning service while the client is in hospital
Raising awareness of a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) at the client’s request
Successfully encouraging the client to wear a ‘falls’ monitor on their return home
Smoothing out any communication problems with care workers and neighbours
Helping to ensure a suitable care home in the desired area (should their health deteriorate and the decision is to move to a home) and making sure that the client has all the necessary personal provisions in place prior to their move.
In considering such an ILA client journey, it reminds us that excellent social care is much more than a simple argument about funding levels and that in reality, nothing can surely compare with the timely, holistic, client-centred approach.