New NICE guidelines and occupational therapists’ input

In November 2015, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), published their guidelines for ‘Social care for older people with multiple long-term conditions’. Within this guide they created an outline for promoting an integrated and person-centred approach to delivering effective health and social care services. Ultimately, the goal of this publication was to ensure that elderly people were given the care and quality of life that they deserve. Now, although these changes will be the responsibility of health and social care providers, they will still need guidance and advice on how best to implement them, and that’s when occupational therapists will be a focal point.

The guidelines

The NICE publication looks to ensure that care plans enable older people with social care needs and multiple long‑term conditions to participate in different aspects of daily life, as appropriate. One of these aspects   mentioned within the guide is self-care – the ability for elderly people to retain a level of independence and self-reliance. Obviously, this can be a difficult factor to cater for, especially if the person has an illness such as dementia or mobility problems. However, thanks to today’s innovative products and designs, occupational therapists now have the ability to suggest suitable solutions that provide this required quality of life.

Inclusive living

When specifying facilities and offering advice to care-providers, inclusive living solutions must strike a balance between quality of life, and safety. Thankfully products such as temperature-controlled and remote-controlled showers enable elderly service-users to shower independently with minimal risk. With a carer always in control of the situation, the service-user enjoys the comfort of a shower, without the dangers of showering unaided. Similar inclusive products such as restricted thermostats on water outlets enable a level of self-care, without the inherent dangers. Additionally, solutions such as shower seats, grab rails, cubicles, and shower trays provide carers with the opportunity to offer service-users the highest quality of life and safety, while remaining regulatory compliant.

Occupational therapists’ input

As care-providers look to comply with this NICE guideline, they will look to occupational therapists for guidance and advice. And, as the expert in these situations, the therapist will be tasked with providing the most suitable solution. So, when it comes to inclusive living products that provide comfort and safety, the occupational therapist’s input could be the difference between an elderly person merely existing, or enjoying a new quality of life. To make the scenario easier to manage, industry-leading inclusive living products will have been designed with the help of occupational therapists, so the products are created to meet these complex needs.

If you’d like to find out more about inclusive living solutions and how you can specify them as part of your occupational therapy role, simply speak to one of our experts today on 01905 823 298 or email sales@akw-ltd.co.uk or Contact Us