The Innovation Centre of the Valencia City Council, Las Naves, in coordination with the “Covenant on Demographic Change” has organized the event “Integrated care in Europe: Keys, challenges and good practices” in order to publicize the benefits that integrated care can have on older people, current challenges, strategies and practices successfully implemented from other European cities.
During the event, which had more than 130 people registered, it was highlighted that it is essential to develop an integrated approach to care to accompany each person from the social and health perspectives in order to improve their well-being. An approach that cannot be a unilateral one, but rather one in which different agents from the public and private spheres intervene in a coordinated manner.
The professionals who participated in the session highlighted the need to advance decisively in the perspective from which the social and health needs of each patient are currently approached, to go from only “curing” the patient and the patients having to adapt to the services offered, to evolving and reaching an ideal setting where the patient is “cared for and accompanied” in all facets and that the system is the one that is adapted to each person.
That is, an approach that considers the different variables that affect each person, social, emotional, physical aspects … and that all of them can be at the service of each patient when they need it quickly and comfortably.
In this sense, the Innovation Councillor of the Valencia City Council, Carlos Galiana, recalled that in Valencia next November the pilot of the European ValueCare project will begin for people over 65 with mild to moderate frailty and their families. ValueCare aims to promote healthy aging by designing a methodology and a technological solution that creates value for patients, providing a personalized and individualized health plan for each person and fully supported by social and health professionals.
The panellists agreed on how the fragmentation of integrated care that is usually provided to patients has a negative impact on their physical and mental health, which is especially pronounced in exceptional situations such as those produced by the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus.
Specifically, “avoiding the fragmentation of the care given to the elderly would help a lot to maintain their autonomy, their independence and that they can access health and social services without going from door to door or producing the usual emotional exhaustion in the caregivers ”, the experts explained.
Likewise, the importance of promoting citizen awareness has been emphasized to awaken the concern about the benefits that digital transformation can bring in their lives, helping to break down current barriers and become familiar with the concept of integrated care. In addition to providing benefits to users, this new approach would lead to financial savings in public expenditure and more efficient management.
Along these lines, the coordinator of the European ValueCare project, Hein Raat, has detailed that this approach would produce shorter hospital stays, less use of health services, less stress on caregivers, more effective management of services and an improvement in the physical and cognitive functions of the elderly. It is not only about innovating to achieve the sustainability of people, but also about people living longer with a better quality of life.
During the session the entities of Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, IFIC Ireland, AGE Platform Europe, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, the project +AGIL BARCELONA of Parc Sanitari Pare Virgili of Barcelona, Autonom’Lab, Gérontopole Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Instituto Polibienestar of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the local government of the Belgian city of Alast.
You can rewatch the session below: