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Home dwelling seniors

The project should develop, test and evaluate a collaborative model for early diagnosis and rehabilitation for home-dwelling elderly with sub-acute loss of functions. The intervention is a collaborative project between primary and specialist health services.

Photo illustration: colourbox.com

Background

Sicknesses among the elderly often have uncharacteristic symptoms, recognizable a declining ability to carry out basic daily activities (loss of basic functions). If the loss occurs rapidly (from a few hours to a few days), it is often due to an acute condition which should require admission to a healthcare institution.  However, if the loss of functions occurs more gradually (from a few days to a few weeks – sub-acute loss of functions), then the underlying cause can often be identified and treated without admission to the hospital, providing that appropriate measures are taken promptly.
 

For the stay-at-home elderly who have subscribed to homecare services, the homecare nurse should be the person most capable of identifying a sub-acute loss of functions. However, many studies show that losses of functions among the elderly are often responded with increased personal-care resources and not with adequate diagnostic efforts.

Therefore, the key elements of the planned intervention should comprise:
1. Training of personal attendants and homecare nurses to identify sub-acute loss of functions.
2. A dedicated system among family doctors to respond quickly and start appropriate assessment, diagnoses and rehabilitation.
3. Timely offer of rehabilitation services (physiotherapy, ergotherapy, etc.) either in the community or at the hospital, depending on the situation.
4. Support in all areas of the process from the hospital, if necessary.

One phD student, Gro Næss, is employed to work on this project.

Financing

• Norwegian research council through CHARM
• Oslo university hospitals

Cooperation

• Department of Nursing sciences, Institute of health and society, University of Oslo
• Department of Geriatric medicine, Oslo university hospitals
• Department of General medicine, Institute of health and society, University of Oslo
• Oslo municipality, Norway

Results

Start - End

2012 - 2017
 

Tags: Intervention, Elderly
Published Jan. 23, 2012 1:51 PM - Last modified Mar. 2, 2017 3:41 PM