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Your Later Life Q4 2021

Technology: the way to even better care

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Daniel Casson

Digital Adviser, Care England

How can we ensure even better care for an ageing population? In many ways, technology can help people live a better quality of life, living longer, healthier lives.

We face two major challenges in the care community; the increasing numbers of old people in the UK and the difficulties in recruiting staff to work in care. This means that we need to find better, more efficient ways of supporting older people in residential care. Care homes need to have the tools to give care teams the gift of time to care. One of the ways they can look to do this is by intelligent use of technology.

The era of personalised care

Mobile digital care planning systems allow the planning of people’s care to be more accurately designed around their specific needs. These systems can give carers greater ability to predict the care people will need and the tools to help avoid the need for acute intervention, for example by predicting falls or health deterioration. This means that by better use of digital technology, people can avoid going to hospital and can enjoy a better quality of life.

Care homes need to have the tools to give care teams the gift of time to care.

 Joined up care: seamless health and care services

The digital age gives greater potential for joining up care and health services. Increasingly, the NHS and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) realise the need for care homes to be part of a holistic health and care solution. There is now the option of a direct link between care homes and GP services via GP Connect. The new Integrated Care Systems, implemented in over 42 footprint areas in England, gives the opportunity for care home providers to connect with local health partners to ensure a seamless service. The Shared Care Records which ICSs have to implement, mean that the data about someone in a care home will now be used to ensure they can have the best possible health treatment, while enjoying a higher quality of life with better health outcomes.

New ideas: new ways of caring

Technology that supports people to have a better quality of life is a growth market and is increasingly being made available to independent sector care homes, the largest providers of care, and governmental organisations.

Key to all this is the realisation by the Government that it needs to invest in care technology to save money in the areas of heath and social care, as well as being able to give people the possibility of a better quality of life. Digital technology is truly the way forward in care.

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Home » Health » Technology: the way to even better care

Support is available to help with swallowing difficulties

Let your doctor or pharmacist know if you are having difficulties swallowing tablets as many common medicines are now available in alternative forms.

If you’re having trouble swallowing tablets and capsules, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies change and it becomes harder to perform certain functions.

Difficulty swallowing — otherwise known as dysphagia — isn’t solely associated with ageing and can be due to several conditions and causes. These include stroke, dementia, head and neck cancer or even a phobia of swallowing medication.

Many people over 60 have struggled to take solid medicines at some time.

Breaking stigma around geriatric health

Worryingly, some people will not take their medicines if they have difficulty swallowing them. Many people over 60 have struggled to take solid medicines at some time.

This can ultimately have a negative impact on their health, causing concern for the patient, their loved ones and carers. We need to break the stigma around talking about geriatric health, you are just as important as anyone else. This is a cause Rosemont Pharmaceuticals champion as an organisation.

Seeking advice and support

Don’t be embarrassed to have a conversation with your GP or local pharmacist about any difficulties you may face because they may be able to help.

For example, pharmacists want to do more to help patients and are increasing the clinical services they offer for their local communities. They often run national awareness campaigns, such as ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’, to encourage more people to use their pharmacies as a first port of call.

It is important that you take your medications correctly, as instructed by your GP or pharmacist, so they work effectively. Many people are unaware that a lot of common medicines are now available in alternative formats such as liquids, dispersible forms and mini tablets.

Rosemont have over 50 years’ experience in supporting patients with swallowing difficulties and the healthcare professionals who care for them. www.rosemontpharma.com

DTM347 November 2021

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