Caring for Life - a dream of fixing the care home crisis in the UK

File under “prevention”?

@zazie , co-housing for people that are not (yet) in need of personal, direct care makes sense to me. Because:

  1. It is prevention. Healthier, more connected lives make for fewer years in care homes. People who retain a degree of self-sufficiency might be able to stay at home longer is their home is social and intergenerational. Prevention has great ROI; but our health care systems spend almost all of their resources on response instead. My feeling is that, to reduce the costs of health care, you should start running and climbing clubs rather than hospital wards.
  2. It is something that communities can do very well. Comparative advantage kicks in: it makes more sense for smart communities to focus on the relatively health and help them stay healthy, and for professional, capital-intensive orgs to dealt with acute conditions and non-self sufficient individuals. 

Cohousing links

The catalyst

@WinniePoncelet - perhaps it could be taken forward by a group of like-minded individuals pursuing the relevant parties… But seems to need research, making contacts (in local govt., CCGs, financers, etc.) first.

Given the way things are going, perhaps we’ll see this happening sooner rather than later; as you say there is a huge need out there!


@Alberto @WinniePoncelet

Definitely agree with the idea of addressing preventative measures as a priority - and across healthcare too. (Drives me mad that the public purse is spending billions on obesity, whilst big food corporates are profiting from cheap, sugary, snack sales…)

The preventative works with mental health and capacity too - keeping active and interacting with others helps no end.

There’s been a lot of mention of finding new ways of addressing the issues with caring for the elderly in recent weeks, especially with the problems of capacity in A&E and more general hospital wards due to the lack of the necessary social care. Heard of a scheme in Wakefield the other day, where triage is used between various branches of care (hospital, local GP / nurses, local or community facilities such as care homes) which was proving very effective at managing need and ensuring “efficient” (for want of a better word) addressing of peoples’ needs. (Some volunteer services, such as Help the Aged and the like were involved to help with transport and checking on a patient when they were ready to go home, rather than them waiting for ambulance services and staff from social care services to check on their immediate needs once back - but this did seem better than the individual concerned waiting unnecessarily in hospital, at huge cost.)

Another benefit found was that building such local links ensured the elderly were “monitored” as in an eye was kept on their health and quality of life, and people could be referred to locally available facilities that they may not have been aware of or may have been reluctant to request or attend.

Definitely think the time is ripe for new approaches, and also that a new willingness to try these is developing on the part of CCGs, healthcare trusts and local councils. Hopefully this will extend to national government, and they will allow local solutions to develop from the ground up. They are doing so in other health sectors, so there is hope. The CQC - given its very specific mandate and structure - may be another issue! But we can but try!

It’s happening…