To combat poverty and financial exclusion by improving take-up of older people’s benefits with particular emphasis on clients who have health problems, are housebound, or who live in remote areas.
The service aims to ensure that hard to reach older people are given an opportunity to claim the benefits and access the support that they require. Typically older people do not access benefits and support due to multiple barriers. The OPAS delivery model aims to overcome these barriers.
The project focused on Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire and Glasgow.
The number of people in the UK aged over 65 is growing and is forecast to reach 16.1 million by 2035. The burden of disease associated with aging will increase as will the demands on health services including end-of-life and palliative care. The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death in 2008 found that rather than advanced care planning and palliation taking place, some patients were subjected to excessively active interventions in their last months of life.
The pilot study aimed to ascertain whether using primary and secondary care data to identify patients at risk of hospital admission and agreeing and implementing an Anticipatory Care Plan in this population could help to reduce hospital admission rates. Anticipatory care planning allows patients to express their wishes for care prior to a sudden deterioration in their health.
The aims of the project were to enrich inpatients’ hospital experience and improve nutritional intake through having greater access to volunteer support at mealtimes; to provide support and encouragement at mealtimes for patients who require it; to enable greater partnership working between volunteers and healthcare professionals; and to develop the scope of patient contact volunteering activities available.
One example was a lady with Dementia who was referred in order to consolidate support available and identify any areas that might require assistance. However, during preparation it transpired that this elderly lady was also a victim of financial abuse. The family knew this was going on and wanted it stopped but did not know what to do about it. The Family Group Meeting brought these concerns into the open. Social work was informed of these allegations but they agreed to wait for the outcome of the Family Group Meeting before pursuing their own enquiries.
To provide high quality information in the form of DVDs for people with dementia and their carers.
One important aspect to the support of people with dementia and their carers is the availability of high quality information. Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy (2010) and the ‘Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland’ (2011) highlight the importance of information in improving understanding of the benefits of early diagnosis and support through all stages of the dementia journey.