Claire Edwards Eldercare Consultant
Claire Edwards is the business owner of Claire Edwards Eldercare Consultant. Claire is a registered nurse with varied experience in both public and private healthcare sectors. She has fourteen years clinical nursing experience and over sixteen years’ experience working as an independent care adviser and nurse assessor for older people and their families. She is now working as a freelance Eldercare Consultant providing expert and independent advice on all aspects of care. She is passionate about older peoples’ rights to informed choice and quality care in an environment of their own choosing and a particular interest in the welfare of older people with dementia and their closest representatives.
- 19 January 2018
- Care, Community organisations, Domiciliary Care, Health, Social Care
- Local Alliances:
- Merton Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
Older people and their families generally contact me at a time when they are feeling vulnerable and uncertain about their future due to increased physical and /or mental frailty. Whilst everyone knows the NHS and Local Authority are there for them, they often feel anxious about the most appropriate steps to take and simply don’t know where to start. They often don't know who to speak to or the questions to ask.
I support older people and their families to "navigate the care maze", making sure they understand the role of the NHS and Local Authority and that they are aware of the various charitable organisations that are there to support them. I am able to signpost and / or liaise with other health and social care professionals on their behalf if required.
I am able to help them to understand their care needs from a nursing perspective by exploring their medical conditions and considering the impact these are having on their ability and quality of life.
I am able to explain the full range of care options available to them and why some of these may be more appropriate than others given the needs we have discussed.
Once the most suitable and preferred care options has been agreed I will research the most suitable providers of this care option e.g. care at home or specialist nursing dementia care and then provide them with an individualised a report with a number of appropriate suggestions which take into account their health and care needs, personal criteria and available funding.
As part of this process I consider their likely eligibility for funding from the NHS, Local Authority , Department of Work and Pensions and I will assist them with their applications using my nursing experience in support of them.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
My challenge in delivering this personal and professional service is one of awareness. Many people, including the general public, other health and social care professionals, charities and care providers are unfamiliar with the role of the Eldercare Consultant or that Independent Care Advice is available to older people and their closest representatives.
At a time when there are enormous financial pressures on our NHS and Local Authority Services I consider myself to be privileged to be able to support older people (particularly those with dementia) and their closest representatives, to make informed choices about their care.
Forging excellent relationships with care providers
Visits to care homes and face to face meetings with care agency managers to ensure that I have a comprehensive understanding of how their services can mee the needs and wishes of my clients with dementia.
- Being implemented
2017 - Fourth Quarter Update
I have been freelance since April 2017 and have establised contacts and meaningful relationships with a number of care homes and care agencies to build on my prior knowedge which was broad rather than detailedand personal.
Relationships are being built on trust and knowledge of the service provided and no commission arrangements are being entered into.