Vulnerable elderly patients can benefit from an integrated approach in which health, welfare and wellbeing are the central points of focus. The UMCG Centre for Geriatric Medicine (UCO) is developing care pathways based on a number of symptoms. These include falling, memory disturbances, acute confusion and misunderstood deterioration.
In addition, research is being undertaken into multiple medicine use, emotional disturbances and multiple disorders. Doctors are constantly searching for the underlying problems in order to produce a tailor-made treatment plan.
The UCO employs specialists in geriatric medicine (internists, nursing home doctors and clinical geriatric specialists), psychiatrists, neurologists, neuropsychologists, sociologists and nurse consultants in an intensive collaborative programme. The UCO operates an essential study component that ties in with LifeLines and the fundamental biomedical ageing research that will be focused in the European Research Institute on the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA). The results of this study will be followed up by clinical treatments at the UCO and by external partners within the Education & Training Region (OOR) for the Northern Netherlands. These partners are jointly participating with the UMCG in the National Programme for Care for the Elderly Northern Netherlands (NPO-NN).
One of the activities of the UCO is the initiative for a special experiment aimed at charting out the vulnerability, complexity and wellbeing of elderly patients, across the board. By developing a measuring tool, it will be possible to match care to the actual needs of vulnerable elderly patients. As part of the study, residents of nursing and care homes, patients in a GP’s practice and clients at an institution for mental health care are all involved. The results of this study will determine the development of specific innovative forms of care and support for the elderly in the Northern Netherlands.