Today - October 1 – is International Day of Older Persons and this year it’s about giving thanks to the health professionals who care for this vulnerable cohort.
International Day of Older Persons is a World Health Organization initiative designed to raise awareness of the special health and community needs of older persons. In light of COVID-19 and the greater risk it poses to older persons, as well as 2020 being International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, one of WHO’s key themes this year is increasing appreciation for the role healthcare workers play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of older people.
And Queensland has much to celebrate when it comes to how we’re improving the health and wellbeing of older persons, with a number of projects and programs in place. So today on International Day of Older Persons, we’re highlighting some of the ways Queensland’s health services are supporting older persons:
- The Geriatric Emergency Department Intervention (GEDI) model of care and toolkit is helping to maximise the quality of care provided to older people in Queensland emergency departments.
- The Residential Aged Care Facility Support Service (RaSS) provides care to RACF residents in their facility when it is safe to do so and with their consent. Care is provided in partnership with GPs and RACFs to improve patient choice of care setting and the quality and safety of care provided across the care continuum.
- The comprehensive multi-disciplinary Eat Walk Engage program is enabling hospitals to be more ‘older-person friendly’ through carer engagement, local leadership and teamwork, education and training, and environmental redesign.
- The Statewide Office of Advance Care Planning is supporting Queenslanders to document their health care wishes, which has become particularly crucial during the pandemic.
- The Cognitive Impairment Management Toolkit (available only on QHEPS) was developed by the Statewide Older Persons Health Clinical Network in conjunction with the Statewide General Medicine Clinical Network and Statewide Dementia Clinical Network and provides best-practice strategies for the identification and management of patients with dementia and delirium.
CEQ also thanks all of those involved in planning for and responding to COVID-19 in aged care facilities, including the dedicated suite of COVID-19 resources developed for the sector to further support their preparedness.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, we thank the thousands of health and support staff who dedicate every shift to the care of Queensland’s older people. For more inspiration on how your teams can better support older persons, visit our Improvement Exchange.