NICE has identified evidence-based advice on delivering person-centred care for older people living at home.
All patient care should be centred to their needs, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ service being provided to elderly people at home. This includes focusing on the patients’ independence, in terms of what they want to do to maintain it.
The guidance points out that social care practitioners should liaise with healthcare practitioners and those involved in an individuals care, to ensure the home care plan improves the wellbeing of the person. In addition, the social care practitioner and healthcare practitioner should discuss the person’s medication.
Older people receiving care at home should be given a copy of their home care plan and in addition, if they give their permission, carers should be provided with a copy too.
Home care workers should have the ability to notice and respond to patient needs including: nutrition, skin integrity, hydration, diabetes, dementia, physical and learning disabilities etc.
Those using a home care service and their carers should be treated with courtesy, respect and empathy. Ways to do this include: ensuring they are involved in the discussions and decisions regarding their care and support, making agreements on mutual expectations, respecting privacy and confidentiality, providing a trustworthy service and seeking feedback on the quality and suitability of the care they are receiving.
The guidance also highlights that there should be joint working. This means that healthcare practitioners and home care workers should liaise with one another to regularly discuss the person’s medication.
Additionally, the healthcare practitioner should add information and guidance on the person’s medication to the home care plan for the home care workers. By ensuring that health and social care practitioners in primary and secondary care are discussing information and liaising with one another, person-centred and integrated support can be provided to people being cared for at home.
Another section of the guideline looks at ‘ensuring safety and safeguarding people using home care services’. This explains that there should be a written process to follow in case a safeguarding concern is raised.
This written process should provide key contacts that would be necessary in such an event, these include: the registered manager of the homecare provider, emergency services and other support sources. All home care workers should be aware of this process.
Safeguarding alerts should be recognised and considered a responsible part of providing home care. Moreover, home care workers may be the first person to notice neglect and abuse and should therefore respond appropriately.
For the full guidance visit: nice.org.uk/guidance/ng21