Older people with social care needs and multiple long-term conditions
In November 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK published a guideline on care and support for older people with social care needs and multiple long-term conditions. The guideline recommends that care should be integrated and person-centred, while at present “some people are still being treated as a collection of conditions or symptoms, rather than as a whole person”. NICE calls for a designated care coordinator who would serve as the older person’s first point of contact as well as communicate with all health and social care services, including those provided by non-governmental organizations. Moreover, care should be supported by community-based multidisciplinary teams, which might include “a community pharmacist, physiotherapist or occupational therapist, a mental health social worker or psychiatrist, and a community-based services liaison worker”. The guideline also calls for health and social care providers to support the person with respect in a way that builds trust and reinforces dignity. Care plans should be adapted to the individual needs of different people, allowing them to make choices and have control over their care.