30 July 2015
Most older people continue to contribute to their communities and family life, adding value to society. However, with ageing, threats to health, independence and well-being emerge. If these are ignored, unnecessary dependency is created leading to higher costs to families and society and reduced quality of life in old age. The EASYCare Project addresses this challenge by promoting widespread use of the EASYCare Instrument and the flexible, person-centred EASYCare approach that surrounds its adaptation for use in a variety of settings, including; training, guidance, information systems development and impact assessment.
The EASYCare Instrument is a nationally accredited, evidence-based assessment tool used to systematically identify and respond to unmet health and care needs of older people in a practical and reliable way. It consists of 49-items covering seven key domains about physical health, social care needs and mental well-being concerns. The EASYCare Instrument can be used with confidence by trained assessors who range from professionals and care workers through to volunteers and family members. The language used is clear, simple and deliberate to encourage a conversational yet structured style. It can also be used as a self-assessment. Uniquely, it is answered entirely from the perspective of the older person, who is asked to prioritise their concerns upon completion of the assessment. A targeted response is then mobilised according to what is most important to the older person. Summary information can be shared with those subsequently involved with the older person’s care and act as a complimentary record to more professionally led assessments, ensuring the voice and views of the older person are captured.
EASYCare is underpinned by a strong research and development programme involving high-level national and international partners in policy, academia, professional practice (health and social), voluntary sector and age advocacy in over 40 countries. Built upon 25 years of research with over 80 publications, it has been found to be valid and reliable in different countries and cultures including those with poor, middle income and rich populations, with a diverse range of systems of funding and delivery of care.
The vision of the project is to improve the lives of older people throughout the world, identifying the concerns of older people and their families about their health and care needs using EASYCare assessment instruments and mobilising a response based on their priorities for support, information and advice.
The planned outcomes of the EASYCare provide a range of benefits that can be broadly structured into three levels of user: older people (their families and friends), workforce (assessors and trainers) and organisations (strategic boards, commissioners).
EASYCare network members from all six World Health Organization regions attended the Giving Voice to Older People International Meeting and Civic Reception on 20 and 21 August 2015 in Solihull, West Midlands. You can read a summary of the outcomes of this event or take a look at the presentations.
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