The Community and Health Research Unit, as part of the work of the centre’s Healthier Aging programme of research, recently hosted the second East Midlands Research into Ageing Network (EMRAN) seminar that took place at the University of Lincoln on 25 November 2015 and which focused on the care of older people in the community. The seminar started with a brief presentation by Professor John Gladman and Chris Craig on EMRAN’s purpose to facilitate collaborative applied research into ageing and older people research across the East Midlands and a brief update on EMRAN’s progress, including recent publications and projects which are being developed thanks to EMRAN’s intervention.
The first part of the seminar included four ‘Elevator Pitches’. Dr Carlos Rodriguez Pascual (University of Lincoln; Lincoln County Hospital) presented his project on frailty and cardiovascular disease, exploring how a combination of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) score and frailty is a predictor of cardiovascular disease in an older person. The second pitch, presented by Dr Jo Middlemass (CaHRU, University of Lincoln), outlined findings from the ‘CArers of people with Dementia: Empowerment and Efficacy via Education’ (CAD: E3) project that aims to improve carer and patient well-being by offering carers of people with dementia a multicomponent intervention (focusing on education and skill-building). The third pitch, presented by Dr Fiona Marshall (University of Nottingham), looked at a project aimed at creating more dementia friendly areas, by gathering local information (through geo-spatial mapping) of what health, social, religious groups, community and voluntary services (amongst others) there are for older people living in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Finally, Dr Gill Garden (United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust) presented the very successful Bromhead Care Home service, which involved training care home staff so they can more confidently and effectively deliver care in care homes and reduce admissions to hospitals.
Professor Niro Siriwardena (Director of CaHRU, University of Lincoln) delivered the second part of the seminar, presenting the work of CaHRU and ideas for developing new projects involving ambulance services: ‘Pathways for Older People from Ambulance Services to Safe Community Care’. The aim of the presentation was to show that paramedics, apart from safely transporting patients, can also offer important treatment and refer patients who don’t require hospitalisation to community services that are often more adequately equipped to care or support them. After the successful SAFER-2 trial (Support and Assessment for Fall and Emergency Referrals), exploring how ambulance staff could assess and divert older people who had suffered a fall to appropriate community-based services, Prof Siriwardena and his colleagues at the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are currently interested in exploring other conditions, such as hypoglycaemia, epilepsy and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) which may also be amenable to community pathways.
After a quick recess for some much needed tea and coffee, the attendees split into small groups to discuss the projects presented earlier, focusing on possible challenges and solutions to the design and conduct of each study, and consider ideas for further research and exciting collaborations. The seminar came to a close with Chris Craig and Prof John Gladman thanking everyone for their participation and with a promise for more similar events and innovative seminars.