New website to keep older people healthy while in hospital

A new website that shows older patients and their families how to stay well while in hospital has been launched.

The Older people in hospital resource has been developed in close collaboration between the National Ageing Research Institute, the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services, The Clinical Leadership Group on care of older people in hospital, Victorian Health Services and a number of experts. It is the third edition of Best care for older people: The toolkit.

The resource provides clinicians with evidence-based information on 16 different but inter-related topics. All information has been closely aligned to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards to assist health services to meet these standards.

The resource also includes a wealth of supporting information such as stories from health services about innovative ways they are improving care for older people.

In a world first, it includes a series of audiovisual information clips on strategies patients and their families can use to improve their outcomes during a hospital stay. The clips are part of Get Well Soon, hosted jointly with Better Health Channel, that also includes a series of fact sheets on looking after yourself in hospital.

According to Associate Professor Briony Dow, NARI Executive Director, the consumer emphasis is a deliberate strategy to give older people and their families and carers the opportunity to make the most of their health and wellbeing while in hospital.

“The Get Well Soon information clips, include simple but important tips about the importance of staying active, eating and drinking, understanding medication and asking questions,” she said.

The site has been designed to be easily navigable, dynamic and to showcase the interrelated nature of the information. It also includes links to external resources that provide further learning opportunities. These resources have been assessed for their quality and relevance before inclusion.

The 16 clinical topics are: Assessment, Communication, Person centred practice, Dementia, Delirium, Depression, Continence, Falls, Mobility, Frailty, Medication, Nutrition, Swallowing, Pain, Palliative care, and Pressure injuries and skin tears.