The average age of the UK population is increasing. The proportion of people aged 65 and over in the UK population increased from 15% in 1985 to 17% in 2010, an increase of 1.7 million people. It is projected that by 2035 people aged 65 and over will account for 23% of the total population (Office for National Statistics. UK Census 2011). It is estimated that in England there are more than 400,000 older people living in care homes (Care Quality Commission. The state of health care and adult social care in England in 2011/12). This includes people receiving care in residential and nursing accommodation funded by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities and people who either partially or fully fund their own care.
Older people, including those living in care homes, often experience depression, loneliness and low levels of satisfaction and wellbeing. Taking part in meaningful activities, maintaining and developing personal identity, and getting the right help for any health conditions and sensory impairments have been identified as key to improving mental wellbeing.
We work with a number of care homes to provide additional support and assessments.
To help people maintain and improve their wellbeing, care staff should be trained and supported to:
- Be aware of any mental health conditions, sensory impairments or physical problems that a person already has.
- Look for any changes in how the person usually is, and any signs or symptoms of new conditions.
- Record observations in the person’s care plan.
- Share information and concerns with healthcare professionals, including the person’s GP.
- Know when and how to make a referral to the relevant healthcare services.
Access to healthcare
Care homes are part of the community and people who live in them have the same right to healthcare as anyone else in the community. To promote people’s wellbeing and ensure their physical and mental health needs are addressed, care home managers can:
- Work in partnership with healthcare organisations and professionals.
- Make sure referrals are made when needed.
- Expect ongoing monitoring and review of existing conditions, as well as access to the full range of primary, secondary, specialist and mental health services.
- Consider how both practice and care home nurses can facilitate joint working and share up-to-date knowledge and skills with other staff, and with people and their families.
We provide expert tailored care and support for people with a range of mild, moderate or severe mental health problems, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder.
Our business team is always at hand to you to talk through how we may be able to assist.