The innovative enablement and telecare services which is underpinned by Occupational Therapists to support people to remain independent and safe at home, run by Bon Accord Care, have been singled out for praise in a major new national report released today. These services are examples of the type of social care that the Royal College of Occupational Therapists is calling to be established more widely across the country. In its report: ‘Living Not Existing: Putting Prevention at the Heart of care for older people’ the Royal College of Occupational Therapists highlights how doing the right thing for individuals can actually reduce their need for expensive care long-term.
The enablement and telecare services based in Aberdeen are examples of what could be adopted more widely. The enablement service delivers a 12-week training programme to care staff to embed a prevention-focused approach to encourage people’s active involvement in their own care. As a result, the care staff have the skills and knowledge of when to refer onto specialist services, and there has been improved independence of older people in daily living, leading to a reduction in planned care.
The telecare service gives individuals, their families and carers security and peace of mind through equipment that enables people to stay independent in their own home for as long as possible. The service also aims to assist people to get home from hospital and prevent or delay admission to a care home.
Occupational therapists support peoples’ ability to continue to take part in daily occupations and activities. They provide advice on all activities of daily living, falls prevention; arrange for specialist equipment and home adaptations and signpost patients to support services so they can manage once home.
Liz Watt, Occupational Therapy manager at Bon Accord Care said: Occupational Therapists want to promote independence and this can be through learning or relearning skills, utilising specialist equipment, adaptations to property or technology to support people to live independently and safely in their homes and communities.
Fiona Dalgleish, Community Occupational Therapist (Enablement) at Bon Accord Care said: It is a great privilege to have our work recognised by RCOT and be included in this report as an example of best practice. Service users should receive the right care at the right time. Using a two strand approach combining staff training and re-ablement intervention, could maximise results in the future.
Julia Scott, Chief Executive at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists said: “Too often, rather than seeing a whole person, social care services simply see a set of care needs which need to be addressed. Because of their unique set of skills, occupational therapists are perfectly placed to change this. In our report we set out clear, evidenced based recommendations that will deliver better care for service users that is more cost effective for taxpayers”.
An interactive film which has been released alongside the report allows viewers to ‘toggle’ between different realities of care. One reality shows what life can be like for many older people, as simply passive recipient of care. The other shows how occupational therapist involvement like those working in Aberdeen can result in the best, most person centred care that empowers the older person.
Notes to Editors