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Care gaps and funding gaps

by admin | 17th April 2012

Care gaps and funding gaps

Older people are being failed by an under-funded social care system, according to Dr Ian Donald of the British Geriatrics Society.

With a white paper on social care imminent Dr Donald, who is working with Age UK, spells out in this week’s Scrubbing Up how things need to change.

As a specialist for older people’s health working on an acute elderly care ward in a district general hospital, I see around 1,500 patients a year.

Most are keen to return to their home, and their families are keen to resume caring for them.

Very many suffer from dementia, and most are frail, entering the last year or two of their lives.

We try to make it our practice to meet the families within a day or so of their admission to our ward – and so often we hear a story of how they are all struggling to cope.

Some have contacted social services for help and are on a waiting list because their needs are not yet judged to be urgent – sometimes it seems the only way to turn is to seek hospital admission, or more commonly wait for that crisis to occur which precipitates the emergency admission.

Sometimes that crisis was just a fall, or simple infection, but it uncovers the struggle being endured at home.

Other times the crisis is more serious – a pressure sore, fracture, or malnutrition – which could have been avoided if more timely assessment had been provided, with medical and social care working hand-in-hand.

To read more, click here

By Dr Ian Donald British Geriatrics Society

Page last updated: April 18th, 2012 at 3:55 am