Older People's 'Home from Home'
More recently, in response to the very poor outcomes and sad reports of neglect of older people within general hospital environments, another scheme has emerged. The scheme called 'home from home' looks to address some of the problems recently highlighted. It aims to provide successful and dignified care for older people with confusion due to or associated with physical illness. This service is run in partnership with the general hospital and seeks to create the right environment, staff team and flexibility to fully address people's treatment and care needs. The previous problem was that an older person admitted to a general ward with complex needs and confusion would get appropriate medical treatment but in an environment which prejudiced overall outcomes. The general hospital ward is simply not designed for confused people, who may need to wander and because they cannot do so safely in that environment may end up being sedated. What follows is loss of independence and this may lead to institutional placement afterwards. Home from home is a bespoke in-reach/outreach service with the same team managing 15 community and 15 bed places. The service has all the mental health and physical health skills and a connection with social care. It is able to consider and meet needs appropriately. Carers can be admitted with the person receiving care, which increases familiarity and possibilities for self-care. The bespoke environment allows wandering but encourages rest and also social functioning. Facilities allow self-support as much as possible and admissions are shorter and less traumatic. Best of all, the vast majority of people using the service go back to their normal place of residence, mostly due to a healthier balance between treatment need and other care and human factors. We break no spirits!