With an increasing number of re-admissions to hospital, we need to focus on re-enabling

At Home Instead North Hertfordshire, we aim to focus on preventative measures, assessing the correct support and care that is required.

There are a number of common causes into why re-admission can happen, including:

  • refusal of medication or missed medication
  • no access to care required
  • falls and injury
  • Social isolation, depression and inactivity
  • infection
  • timely follow-up care
  • not identifying post care needs correctly

People with dementia who get to see the same GP each time are given fewer medicines and are less likely to develop delirium and incontinence and have an emergency hospitalisation, according to a new study.

The research by Exeter University found people with dementia who were consistently seen by the same GP over the period of a year were given fewer medicines and were less likely to be given medication that can cause problems like incontinence, drowsiness and falls.

Those who saw the same GP were 35 per cent less likely to develop delirium, a state of confusion commonly experienced in dementia.

They were also 58 per cent less likely to have incontinence, and nearly ten per cent less likely to have an emergency hospitalisation, compared to those who saw a high number of different GPs in a year.

Lead author Dr João Delgado of the University of Exeter, said: “The number of people with dementia has been rising steadily and it is now one of the leading causes of death in the UK.”

“In the absence of a cure, long-term care is particularly important. Treating people with dementia can be complex, because it often occurs together with other common diseases.

“Our research shows that seeing the same general practitioner consistently over time is associated with improved safe prescribing and improved health outcomes. This could have important healthcare impacts, including reduced treatment costs and care needs.”

The pandemic has put Care services under immense pressure, hospital re-admission is at its’ highest. We recognise that prevention is key.

So while we might not be able to get consistent GP care for everyone with dementia tomorrow, we have the opportunity to make an impact as care professionals.

When you join Home Instead, we not only build an in-depth care plan, we visit your home, meet your family and discuss how you would like your care to look. What are your goals? What do you enjoy doing? Why do you want be at home? We can look at external resources, including day care, chatty cafes and various holistic approaches. We can encourage activity, simple exercises such as walking or gardening, keeping the brain active with conversation, puzzles or a crossword. We can contact the GP, Occupational Therapist, Physios, we can get appointments for you, including home visits. We can encourage healthy eating, hydration and monitor intake. Lack of fluid can have a huge detrimental affect on the elderly, we need to avoid Urinary Tract Infections, which can lead to falls and confusion.

One thing we have particularly focused on is upskilling our care professionals. We have developed over the years, most of our care visits originally were based around home help, shopping and companionship. We have seen a significant shift in requirements, we are now regularly providing specialist care, supporting much more complex needs including personal care, stoma and catheter care, Nutrition, Specific Diets, Parkinson’s, Dementia, Strokes, Cancer and Palliative End of Life Care. All of these areas need specific training. We ensure our care professionals are continually trained and informed an are confident to support their clients needs.

Looking further into any concerns or issues, assessing the root cause and looking at how we can improve and gain better outcomes. Working with our local community and network to take the pressure off the NHS and keep you living a fulfilled and safe life in your own home.