EASYCare and Community Nursing
Of all health professionals, community nurses spend the highest proportion of their time working with older people and are the most trusted. Use of assessment methods can improve their ability to provide the best support, care and advice to older people and their families. The international EASYCare project has over the last 25 years developed standardised approaches to assessing the health and care needs of older people at home, mobilizing a response based on the priorities of the older person and their families. 49 risks to health, independence and well-being are assessed, covering domains of communication, mobility, daily living activities, safety and relationships, accommodation and finance, mental health and well-being and staying healthy. Top reported concerns include pain, loneliness, financial difficulties and memory. With over 80 peer reviewed publications and experience of use in 44 poor, middle income and rich countries, the EASYcare approach offers the potential to better understand and respond to older people’s concerns about their health, independence and well-being (Philip et al, 2014). The approach has been found to be particularly suitable for incorporation into nursing practice in community settings (Olde-Rikkert et al, 2013). With an accompanying training programme, it can help nurses in the early detection of dementia (Perry et al, 2010). The approach is also time efficient (Philp et al, 2001) and cost-effective, with evidence of reduction in hospital admissions and improvements in quality of life (Melis et al, 2008). The EASYCare Project is a good example of a practical approach which can help change the culture and system of care to empower both older people and professionals involved in their care.