Older people and their families live with problems on a day to day basis which affect their health and well-being but need their voices to be heard about their priorities for help. Using a practical, reliable person-centred approach, the EC Health assessment collects information directly from older people about their concerns and mobilises support, information and advice based on what is most important to them.
Why is it Important?
Most older people continue to contribute to their communities and family life, adding value to society. However, with ageing, threats to health, independence and well-being emerge. If these are ignored, unnecessary dependency is created leading to higher costs to families and society and reduced
quality of life in old age.
By targeting and systematically identifying the needs and
priorities of older people, there is an opportunity to improve awareness of alternative sources of support at an earlier
stage which can help older people to make an informed decision about addressing their health and care needs before they reach a crisis point. This can save both individuals and health and care systems money in the long-term by preventing inappropriate contact with the
statutory services and helping older people to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle in an individualized way.
Our vision is for a world with a fully engaged population of older people who remain independent, empowered and able to contribute to their communities and family life, adding value to society.
Our Mission: to improve the lives of older people throughout the world.
EC Health is built on 25 years of research with over 80 publications. It has been found to be valid and reliable in different countries and cultures including those with poor, middle income and rich populations, with a diverse range of systems of funding and delivery of care.
A unique approach
What We Do
The EC Health Project is a combination of research and practice in using the EC Health Standard Assessment Instrument to identify, prioritise and respond to the health and care needs of older people worldwide. Our global network works together to promote, develop and demonstrate the variety of applications and settings in which EC Health can be applied. We offer support, guidance and training and continue to build our library of knowledge and resources about older people.
The EC Health approach has systematically challenged the perception of older people as a burden. It has helped to shift the emphasis of assessment to that of identifying capability and independence; and from a professional ‘system-based’ definition of need to a definition made by an older person.
It is strongly value-based in that it models the importance of ensuring that older people are actively engaged in the decision making process about their health and independence. This change in approach has already made an important contribution to the quality and sustainability of health and social care in our ageing societies.
Who can use EC Health?
Anyone can use EC Health! It is simple enough to be self-completed but older people often prefer to complete the assessment with guidance from trained assessors. These can be professionals, care workers, or volunteers. Family members can take part in the assessment too. EC Health compliments professionally led assessments, ensuring the voice of the older person is captured, and empowering older people to have a choice in the delivery of their own care. An extremely rich source of data is generated and can be aggregated to different population levels to give a unique perspective of the needs and priorities as defined by older people, helping providers to better develop services and target resources.
We have a programme of training in Good Assessment Practice, using the EC Health Instruments and can provide expert advice in helping individuals and organisations to implement their use of EC Health. The EC Health training sets out the principles of standardised assessment practice and explains the advantages of a person centred approach to assessment and care of older people and individuals with long-term conditions. The domains of holistic assessment are explored in more depth using the accredited EC Health methodology as the standardised assessment tool. Anyone who will be assessing using EC Health should undertake the training.