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DN Debate. Organizing the care of the elderly for more human meetings

the Issue of older people's loneliness is often highlighted at christmas, but it is a problem that exists throughout the year. Loneliness negative consequences for society in the form of both physical and mental ill-health was discussed in an op-ed in the DN of the KD's economic policy spokesperson Jakob Forssmed. Involuntary loneliness contributes to lower quality of life in old age. This also applies to the elderly with home care or in special accommodation. It is not enough to care for the elderly includes food, care and maintenance, if the lack of staff that makes old people company. Union president Tomas Baudin stressed in a debate article in Aftonbladet (29 October) that the situation in the care of the elderly is acute. He points out that no sector is so personalintensiv that the care of the elderly and to the insufficient staffing levels, skills shortages and the stress leads to people in distress.

We agree that the care of the elderly will need increased resources and that it is a sector that needs to be a priority, not least given that the number of older people increases. But there is also need for more collaboration projects to solve the problems in today's elderly care, in particular the loneliness that many older people experience.

He said that the focus of high-degree low on meals – to eat and then just sit and wait until the next meal was served. Good food is certainly an important part of quality of life, and something that thankfully is being discussed more and more frequently in the elderly, but it is not enough.

Old people in retirement homes and those who have assisted living needs to be activated, both physically, mentally and emotionally. Human and other meetings is important. Music and animals have been shown to stimulate dementia patients. It's not always easy to get out in the fresh air. Daylight and movement is important to feel good as a human being, not least if one is suffering from dementia. Empathy is necessary to understand the needs of older people.

The accommodation sitting and is a large part of their waking time and the situation is more noticeable during the weekends when staffing is reduced. Some of the residents have told us that they are waiting for it to be Monday morning, and to the everyday rhythm will return.

In a few years ' time one of us had the opportunity to, as a family member visit a nursing home. Living at home can mean isolation, but the fact is that even on a retirement home can feel lonely. Certainly, there are activities, but they are still relatively limited in number when there is a shortage of staff.

Some of the residents have told us that they are waiting for it to be Monday morning, and to the everyday rhythm will return. Many have few or no visits. Friends are no longer – the address book is full of crossed out names, relatives living far away or are too busy.

According to a report by the national Board of health ( Open comparisons, 2017 – long-term Care for the elderly), which is also based on the surveys, to collect information about what older people believe, experiencing 46 percent of the elderly in special accommodation that they are satisfied with the activities offered and not often bothered by loneliness. Women are more satisfied than men. 46 percent of women and 43 per cent of men responded positively. But it is still more than 50 per cent who are not satisfied with the activities of its special accommodation and experiencing loneliness. The spread of results between the municipalities are large and vary between 14 and 69 percent.

Dare people to communicate their views and wishes if they feel they are in a dependency? Works surveys at all in this context? In order to investigate how people perceive or wish their care of the elderly, other methods such as in-depth interviews, focus groups, or participant observation may be needed. People can not always communicate their wishes, especially if the man is demented. It is important to reflect on the methods used to find out how people perceive or wish their care of the elderly.

Loneliness seems to be a problem in the care of the elderly – it shows the Health report and also our personal observations. How do you solve this? It is cheaper to prescribe medication than to organize the movement, fresh air or social activities? According to the above-mentioned report, the proportion of older people who receive a lot of different drugs – ten or more – increased in the care of the elderly from 2016 to 2017. It was 24.2 per cent among the elderly with assisted living and 31.9 per cent of older people in sheltered accommodation who had ten or more drugs 2017. This increase is equivalent to 3 and 6 percent, respectively. The report shows large variations between the country's municipalities. Too many medicines have risk for both side effects and falls especially in the elderly over 80 years. There is reason to reflect on why the use of drugs in elderly care increases.

How can the elderly care be better organised so that older people, in particular the accommodation and assisted living, is activated physically and socially and not have to feel alone? What does a user perspective in different contexts? It needed the visions and new ideas. In Borås, the Foundation has Curamus taken the initiative to make a commitment for the elderly in cooperation with the City of Borås, Point Simonsland. Through the recruitment and training of volunteers can older people get companionship and help, to visit, such as the cinema, football, doctor. It is an example and it is needed more. How to organize meetings between elderly people, between the old and the young? You can build homes for the elderly with preschools? It is something which has been tested in France.

the Complex social problems requires people with different skills and experiences come together to enhance understanding, broaden perspectives, provide inspiration and ideas. A proposal is to form a network with representatives from stakeholders, for example funders (county, municipality), the employees in elderly care, non-profit organizations, business, families, researchers, etc to try to find solutions to a care of the elderly that could work better.

It can result in different solutions in order to organize the movement, fresh air and social activities and do not just prescribe medications. We are convinced that many societal problems, which, in this case, the loneliness within care of the elderly, requiring some form of project to be resolved. Alone is not strong!

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