A new Residential Aged Care Facility outreach service allows our team to work with residential care facilities to provide improved services for elderly people.
As a community, aged care should be something we are all worried about says Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive, Dr Teresa Anderson.
“We are all going to get older. We all have loved ones or a family member or a friend who is older,” Dr Anderson says.
Speaking at the launch of the new Residential Aged Care Facility Outreach Service at The Marion Uniting Care Aged Care Facility in Leichhardt, Dr Anderson spoke about the importance of continually evaluating our services to make sure that they are always meeting the needs of our community.
Sydney Local Health District’s population is ageing, the current number of residents over the age of 70 is expected to increase by 65 per cent by 2031.
Currently there are 4700 elderly people living in residential aged care facilities in our District.
“Our enhanced model of care is about achieving the right care, in the right place at the right time for residents living in residential aged care, every time,” she says.
The District’s Clinical Director for Aged Care Services, Dr John Cullen, says there is now an alternative option for care.
“The outreach model allows our team to work with families and teams in residential care facilities to provide the right care in the right setting for the person at the time.
“Sometimes this will involve us helping to facilitate hospitalisation and coordinating the right clinical care. At other times the outreach model will mean many residents can avoid hospital which for that particular resident, depending on their circumstance may be too stressful and may not always lead to the best outcomes,” he says.
“We’re building on existing services, we have a new team, funding, a focus on partnerships, rearranged management services, enhanced links to the Public Health Unit.”
Ongoing enhancements to the outreach service will include additional staff members, longer hours, better partnerships with NSW Ambulance and GPs, refining our electronic medical record, telemedicine opportunities, and linking residential care facilities with specialist services as well as education for families.
Dr Cullen says management of people living in aged care residences should be a focus for us all.
“We know people are sicker and are more frail at their entry to care with a higher incidence of chronic disease,” Dr Cullen says.
“As clinicians, as managers and as individuals, we have got to get it right,” he says.
“We know that these communities are vulnerable, and they deserve access to the very best available healthcare we can provide.”
To get in touch with our RACF Outreach Service contact the Sydney Local Health District Access Care Team on 1300 722 276.