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Putting prevention at the heart of care

Published by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (14 July 2017): The RCOT has published a new report aimed at putting prevention at the heart of care for older people.

Improving Lives, Saving Money calls for a shift from a ‘high volume, low cost’ approach to care to one which sees the whole person’s overall wellbeing. Its publication is accompanied by a moving film showing the stark reality of being dependent on social care faced by many older and vulnerable people.

In its report Living Not Existing: Putting Prevention at the Heart of Care for Older People, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists seeks to show how doing the right thing for individuals can actually reduce their need for expensive care long-term. It calls for an end to the inequality of access to occupational therapy, which is a barrier to people in need receiving high quality, person-centred care that enables people to stay as active, independent and safe as possible.

The report makes three recommendations:

  • An end to the inequality of access to occupational therapy. There are pockets of best practice, but too many people miss out on high-quality, proactive social care that promotes independence and self-determination.
  • More occupational therapists employed within primary care proactively helping older people adapt to ageing, increasing frailty and health problems. This can delay, reduce or prevent the need for expensive care and support.
  • Occupational therapists to be employed to lead on the development of person- and community-centred services that care for older people’s overall health and wellbeing to ensure they can live active independent lives in their communities for as long as possible.

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