Earlier planning for the move into a care home could help to make the transition gentler, and give older people and their families more time to obtain all the information they need and to fully understand the options available.
This is one of ten identified research priorities into the care and support of those aged 65 and over in Wales, developed by Health and Care Research Wales and Social Care Wales.
The project, run in association with the James Lind Alliance, researched the views of nearly 400 older people, carers and social care practitioners. The priorities were found to be:
- Does early care planning and/or early or regular contact by social care services, help prevent problems and result in better experiences for older people than waiting until there is a crisis?
- How can we reduce isolation and stress amongst carers of older people and prevent burn-out?
- How can social care and health services, including the voluntary sector, work together more effectively to meet the needs of older people?
- How can social care for older people be tailored to the interests and needs of individuals, including better involvement in decisions about their own care?
- How can social care best support older people with complex needs (e.g. people who need support from a range of health and social care services)?
- How can social care for older people be funded in a sustainable way?
- What barriers do older people experience in accessing services (e.g. access to information, waiting times, access to online technology, communication, costs)? How can access be improved?
- How can terms and conditions, including wages, be improved for staff providing social care to older people? Will this attract more people to the profession?
- How can social care for older people be kept at a consistent high quality?
- How can home and community-based social care enable older people to socialise, reducing loneliness and isolation?