Reducing Older People’s Need for Care: Exploring risk factors for loss of independence – Executive Summary – Institute of Public Care – Oxford Brookes University

The report proposes, and explores in detail, three risk factor ‘domains’:

  • Social and Psychosocial Domain
  • Long term or Personal Conditions Domain
  • Life Events Domain

Risk factors are then further grouped as follows:

Modifiable risk factors such as depression or loneliness, where specific support or services can be offered to minimise their impact.

Non-modifiable risk factors such as age or history of falls; whilst these cannot be changed, they can help identify older people at greater risk and who may potentially benefit from some preventative services and support. In this case, the risk factor is not modifiable however, the outcome may be.

In no particular order, IPC proposes 1 to 7 below as being the most significant, primary risk factors to older people’s independence and institutionalisation:

  1. Dementia with co-morbidity
  2. Co-morbidity
  3. Carer burden
  4. Fall
  5. Social isolation / loneliness
  6. Poor confidence / self-esteem / self-image
  7. Poor perception of own health status

    IPC also highlights a range of examples of preventative tools and
    interventions where there is evidence that, if accessed by older people,
    could stop, delay or defer the need for long-term institutional care.
    Whilst it is currently difficult to indicate the level of absoluteness
    of each risk factor, IPC proposes the tools and interventions in this
    report as a helpful starting point in working this through.

    NCC will use these findings, as it strives to adapt to the growing
    complexity of needs of its older population, to inform the ongoing local
    development of an “early warning system” which identifies residents
    whose combination of health, social and environmental indicators mean
    they are at higher risk of losing their independence.

    The Executive Summary can be downloaded. Please contact Julia Whyard, Senior Consultant to find out more about the findings of this study and to receive a copy of the full report.

    Reducing Older People’s Need for Care: Exploring risk factors for loss of independence – Executive Summary – Institute of Public Care – Oxford Brookes University

    Published by Residential Forum

    The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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