While an increased life expectancy is a positive achievement for our societies, health systems face challenges on both how to increase healthy life years and how to offer quality care and support for those in need. Governments are encouraging ‘ageing in place’ and community-based care, and answer older people’s expectation to live in their home for as long as possible. Integrated care, involving both formal and informal caregivers, is widely acknowledged to be the way forward in care delivery.
The SUSTAIN Project aimed to improve integrated care for older people living at home with multiple health and social care needs. A European multidisciplinary consortium worked towards improving established integrated care initiatives for older people living at home with multiple health and social care needs, and ensuring that improvements to the integrated care initiatives are applicable and adaptable to other health systems and regions in Europe.
The SUSTAIN project lasted four years and was divided into three interrelated phases. During the first phase, working relationships were established with integrated care initiatives in seven countries (Austria, Estonia, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom) that indicated a motivation to improve current practices.
In the second phase, based on the outcomes of the baseline assessments, tailored sets of improvement were designed and implemented together with stakeholders (i.e. policymakers, commissioners, health insurers, health and social care professionals, older people, informal carers).
In the third phase, previous work was translated to products and impacts for different user groups. Tailored dissemination strategies will be designed to increase uptake of SUSTAIN’s findings.
As lead partner for the dissemination working package, EHMA managed SUSTAIN efforts to promote the project, inform and involve potential users and stakeholders groups (e.g. policy-makers, decision-makers, carers, researchers, managers in health and social care). To reach this objective, EHMA developed a state-of-the-art dissemination strategy that encompasses social media coordination, networking, workshops and the production of dissemination material (e.g. Leaflets).
For more information on this project, please visit the SUSTAIN website
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