Reducing Hospital Admissions via Improved Care Home StandardsDecember 23, 2015
No matter what time of the year, elderly people, who are making up a larger and larger proportion of our population, require more care and more attention. It’s a problem we have to face up to as a country, with an aging population which could eventually be the one thing to bring the NHS to its knees.
This issue is both a large and a small-scale one, it could be something which cripples our economy, but it’s also heartbreaking for our loved ones because the low standards in some care homes is often preventable.
There are several ways in which we can reduce hospital admissions for the elderly portion of our population. A report in 2011-12 showed that hospital admissions for care home residents were high, and it also showed there is a higher level of readmission compared to the rest of the population. With this in mind, it’s clear that rather than keep plunging these people in and out of hospital, care homes could both improve their standards as well as taking on some of the burden.
Better Care Home Facilities
The first issue which should be addressed is the care homes themselves. Proper care home development should ensure that all provisions are taken care of, helping to lower everything from trips and spills, to sickness and disease. This should be a lot easier to implement for new care homes in development, but it’s also not an outlandish suggestion for current care homes to receive modifications so that they can better deal with the needs of elderly residents who might spend long period in hospital otherwise.
Better Care Home Staff
Many care homes are staffed with caring, attentive and hardworking staff, but the fact of the matter is that with greater age comes a greater risk of developing multiple health issues. Mobility and fragility is one thing, but the deterioration of mental health which comes with increased age is something different altogether – a facet of a person’s health which requires experience and professional training.
While care home staff help on a day-to-day basis, hospital admissions could be lowered if residents in care homes received dedicated treatment and professional medical guidance.
The regulations which care homes must adhere to have been called into question over the last few years. These play an important role in how well a care home is being run; a well-run facility could ensure hospital admissions and readmissions are kept to a minimum while still providing humane and medically sound facilities for residents. Only when the punishment for not meeting high standards is meted out will we see the health of care home residents improve.
It might seem like a futuristic idea, but the use of technology in care homes could have huge benefits for residents and their health. There are now many ways in which health can be monitored, with the information easy to get hold of and analyse. Implementing something along the lines of a wrist-monitor, which people usually use during exercise, could give care home staff an insight into the health and activity of residents throughout the day and monitor their sleep at night.
At Aedifice we are experts when it comes to the planning and development of care homes and healthcare facilities. If you need advice or professional project management then look no further, our team can deliver a comprehensive service.
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