A burden to society?
In a report analysing data obtained from assessments undertaken in Nova Scotia, Canada, using the ACTTMAssessment tool , researchers found that 44% of older people reported feeling they were a burden to their friends and family. Our traditional views of older people often evoke images and feelings of frailty, inactivity and dependency. Often reinforced in the mainstream media, these stereotypes can lead to older adults feeling isolated and reluctant to ask for help and support in order to preserve some of their independence.
A survey commissioned by Shaping Our Age showed that 1 in 6 older people were offered access to services traditionally thought to appeal to older people  and many weren’t ever asked about the things which truly matter to them. Despite societal stereotypes, the report also showed that over 60% of adults aged over 65 don’t feel old or even see age as an important factor.
With an increasing ageing population, it is important that governments, businesses and society as a whole work towards removing preconceptions of the elderly population and shifting our mindset on ageing, to instead promote the reality of living a healthy and independent life.
Key to this is empowering older people with a channel to voice their individual concerns, priorities and needs about their health and wellbeing. By addressing the things which matter most to older people:
- Healthcare professionals can deliver a targeted, person-centred care plan, improving wellbeing, independence, social connection, and healthy behaviours.
- System leaders and governments can implement policies to reflect the true needs and concerns of older people, ensuring they are involved in the decision-making process.
- Product and service providers can increase investment in research and development accordingly.
Most importantly the projected increase in the global elderly population will have a tremendous strain on current healthcare infrastructure, disproportionately affecting those most disadvantaged in society. Addressing needs and concerns of older people and promoting independence in older age will also reduce hospital and long-term costs of care.
About the ACTTM Assessment tool
The award-winning ACTTM Assessment is the world’s leading digitised care planning tool which identifies the concerns and priorities of older people and connects them to local sources of support to meet their needs.
By identifying and addressing the top 56 threats to health, independence and wellbeing in old age, the ACTTMAssessment generates unique data for policy-makers, commissioners and providers of products and services about the things which really matter to older people and the impact of interventions on individual and population health.
Following the World Health Organization ICOPE guidelines, each assessment generates a report which lists identified concerns and priorities for action, together with several summary scores to measure needs, risks and outcomes.
For more information on the ACTTM Assessment download a brochure below or contact a member of our team.
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