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This content is taken from the Deakin University's online course, Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model. Join the course to learn more.
Elderly mand talking with a physician

Tools for healthcare teams

Healthcare teams, including carers, health professionals and allied support staff, are vital to the success of effective partnership-centred care.

Some of the practical strategies healthcare teams can use to support the wellbeing and needs of older people include:

  • consult the older person about decisions involving their health and care.
  • contact the older person’s appointed representative(s) as required
  • involve the older person’s social and healthcare networks (as appropriate) to gain other perspectives
  • invite family members to attend healthcare discussions
  • provide adequate notice for partners-in-care to attend healthcare meetings
  • record discussion points for partners-in-care who are unable to attend meetings
  • respect the older person’s right to privacy
  • create warm, comfortable and inviting indoor and outdoor social areas that are child- and pet-friendly for the older person’s family and friends to meet
  • encourage family members to include the older person in social events and gatherings hosted outside of their care facility
  • make new visitors feel welcome by orienting them on their first visit to the environment
  • provide visiting health professionals with suitable spaces in which to work and consult with the older person
  • encourage partners-in-care to report any incidents where family, friends or staff are not acting in the best interests of the older person
  • hold regular staff meetings that encourage discussion about care issues and strategies
  • explore the use of volunteers to assist the older person to keep in touch with family, friends and other social, cultural, religious or community groups
  • communicate with other members of the older person’s healthcare team about issues or concerns early and often
  • seek feedback from other partners-in-care to discover different perspectives and help evaluate the effectiveness of the older person’s care plan.

Your task

What do you think about these strategies? Have you used them before? Can you think of any others that would benefit health and care teams caring for older people when adopting a partnership-centred approach?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

You may also want to download this poster to display or keep on-hand as a quick reference guide summarising benefits and practical strategies for healthcare teams when using a partnership-centred care approach.

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This article is from the free online course:

Caring for Older People: a Partnership Model

Deakin University

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