Older people can be defined as those over the age of 65.
The age at which an older person requires health and social care services varies considerably and can be linked to the gap in life expectancy across the city. Services for elderly patients are commonly provided by a range of providers including primary medical care, community health services, social services, acute hospital care, private and voluntary sector organisations.
Why have we chosen older people?
In 2010 there were 35,700 residents aged 65 years or older in Leicester. This number is predicted to rise to 51,300 by 2030. The 65-plus age group places the heaviest demand on health and social care services, accounting for 37% of emergency inpatient admissions. Most commonly reported chronic conditions for the elderly are heart and circulatory disease, which we know are key contributors to the life expectancy gap in Leicester. Other debilitating diseases include musculoskeletal aliments and strokes.
Although the city has a relatively young population, many of the population will suffer ill health and die much younger than the national average, due to the impact of the city’s deprivation levels and life expectancy gap. It is therefore important to ensure our over-65s are supported when they become ill and that, where possible, the risk of ill health in later life is reduced by our education and support programmes, for example, our lifestyle education programme and health checks.
The over-65 year olds account for more than 30% of all emergency hospital spells in Leicester, and nearly 60% of the total cost of emergency admissions. Out of the total hospital emergency admissions for the over-65s, 16% are for CVD, 15% for respiratory conditions and 13% are due to injuries. Recent audits have identified that with more community and home based services in place, patients’ stays in hospital could be significantly reduced.
It is a key priority for the CCG to support older people to stay healthy, manage their condition better and to remain independent for as long as possible. Where they do need to go to hospital, we aim for this stay to be as short as possible and for the patient to experience an improved quality of care. Not only will patients have better health outcomes and quality of care, but by reducing the number of hospital admissions the financial position of the city’s health economy will become more sustainable.
It is also vital that there is support for the many thousands of older people’s carers, to enable them to manage the responsibility for caring for as long as possible.
What we will do to improve outcomes for older people?
- Development of integrated pathways of care and improve end of life care
- Further develop the health and social care co-ordinators’ service
- Improve quality of care in care and nursing homes by reducing emergency admissions from these homes
What will be different by 2015?
- People staying independent for longer
- A 4% reduction in the number of people aged over 65 in care homes who are admitted to hospital
- People in hospital staying for as short a time as possible
- More people being able to choose the care setting where their death takes place with a reduction of 100 deaths taking place in hospital