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Feb. 7, 2016

I’m Still Me: A Narrative For Coordinated Support For Older People

Region: Europe Other Empowering and engaging people and communities, Coordinating services within and across sectors Source: UCLPartners, National Voices, Age UK

Care coordination should be a means to achieving specific outcomes, rather than an end in itself. In turn, it is important that these outcomes reflect what patients want. In December 2014, National Voices, Age UK and UCLPartners jointly published I’m Still Me, a document that focuses on what older people consider to be the most important outcomes of coordinated support. The report is based on a variety of research methods, including 74 semi-structured interviews with older individuals. The research identifies a number of outcomes which are key to older people, such as maintaining their independence and retaining their own choice in decision making. I’m Still Me also includes a series of ‘I statements’ that summarise what older people have said they want their support to look like. For example: "I am supported to be independent"; “I can do activities that are important to me”; “I can maintain social contact as much as I want”. Moreover, the research reveals that older people do not identify themselves by their health conditions and are instead focused on living their lives. Therefore, successful strategies for engaging with them should go beyond the management of their health. The report challenges health and social care professionals to reflect on whether they are focusing on the key outcomes highlighted by the research. The publication also encourages coordination between health and social care services in order to achieve these outcomes.