SUSTAIN aims to concretely improve the way care services for older adults are organised and delivered across Europe, and especially for those who have multiple health and social care needs. This page will provide more information about the background and activities of SUSTAIN.
The project started from our observation that in all European countries, care for older people is often poorly coordinated. This prevents care from adequately meeting the needs of older adults, and it shows that quality of care and outcomes could be much improved.
SUSTAIN will in particular aim to support and improve what we call ‘integrated care’. By a better ‘integration’ of care, we mean that:
- care for older people is better organised, and professionals coordinate the care they deliver;
- older persons’ health and social care needs are well assessed;
- care services listen carefully to older persons and informal carers, seek to involve them in the decisions affecting them and deliver care in line with their needs and preferences as much as they can (‘person-centred care’);
- professionals from different disciplines (prevention, healthcare, social care) are included in the care team, and different types of support are offered (including new technologies);
- care is provided in a continuous way, without gaps in the care delivery process.
According to us, integrated care has a potential to concretely improve care services and save some costs. Most importantly, we want care to be comfortable and ensure peace of mind for service users and for their relatives. We want services to be well organised, with a team of health and social care providers who will be there for the persons who need them, when they need them, in order to support independent living. Ultimately, we aim to support policy and decision makers so policies and care services can better support independent living and address older people’s needs. As such, our objective is therefore to improve existing services in order to align them better with the needs of older.