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Editorial

Editorial Ron Iphofen Readers of Quality in Ageing will know that we regularly publish articles related to various forms of assistive technology. Amy Drahota, Diane Gal and Julie Windsor have provided us with an article that one of our referees said was ‘refreshing’ to read since it addresses falls in the older population and the resulting injuries from a different perspective – something that lies right ‘under our feet’! On reflection, it is perhaps surprising that not enough work has been done on the effectiveness of different flooring types on the resultant injuries from falls. Flooring, along with other aspects of the built environment in healthcare settings, has been thoroughly considered for a range of ergonomic and biological risks. The article highlights the current evidence and provides sufficient information to inform further debate on the subject. As the authors themselves suggest, now we need further studies relating to flooring that has been specifically targeted to prevent falls and minimise injuries in healthcare settings – studies that have been assessed for clinical and cost effectiveness. Lorna Conn’s study looks at fall prevention more broadly and reports on a multidisciplinary and multi-professional falls prevention programme in Northern Ireland. We have published a fairly full account of the methodology adopted here to offer an example to practitioners that they could choose to adopt to evaluate similar programmes of their own. As with all regionally based studies, there are some specific differences attributable to local conditions. But Lorna’s evaluation of this programme suggests that a health promotional approach integrated into routine community care practices for the older population could contribute to significant reductions in falls. In both of these studies there is an evident need to continue to maintain the initiative deriving from initial policy proposals as the ageing and infirm population grows to avoid the unnecessary extra complications of disability deriving from preventable falls. Lorna includes the service user as part of the collaborative partnership required for effective health promotion interventions. The central message of Maria Lorentzon and Karen Bryan’s piece is to foster greater service user involvement in all interventions, in particular for the care of persons with dementia. They argue that if ‘person-centred care’ is to mean anything, then increased respect for people with dementia is required. By reviewing the range of ways in which user involvement can be enhanced they offer suggestions for a more caring and inclusive consideration of the needs of those with dementia. Clearly some cultural change is required before such fundamental changes in attitude and approach occur. Cultural comparison is at the root of Chih Hoong Sin’s paper looking at the differences and similarities between white–British and Asian–Indian familial support systems. He focuses on perceptions of the adequacy and the quality of support given the care-receiver’s expectations about such support. In the current crisis in attitudes towards, and understanding of, multiculturalism, Chih’s study counsels us to take care in making assumptions about any form of cultural dominance in perceptions about familial care obligations and responsibilities. For all families, expectations for familial caring will vary according to contextual factors such as geography, and traditional patterns of caring will inevitably be modified – along with expectations of caring obligations – with socioeconomic changes that affect all aspects of community life. Quality in Ageing – Policy, practice and research Volume 8 Issue 1 March 2007 © Pavilion Journals (Brighton) Ltd 2007 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Pier Professional

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Publisher
Pier Professional
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Pier Professional Limited
ISSN
1471-7794
eISSN
2042-8766
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ron Iphofen Readers of Quality in Ageing will know that we regularly publish articles related to various forms of assistive technology. Amy Drahota, Diane Gal and Julie Windsor have provided us with an article that one of our referees said was ‘refreshing’ to read since it addresses falls in the older population and the resulting injuries from a different perspective – something that lies right ‘under our feet’! On reflection, it is perhaps surprising that not enough work has been done on the effectiveness of different flooring types on the resultant injuries from falls. Flooring, along with other aspects of the built environment in healthcare settings, has been thoroughly considered for a range of ergonomic and biological risks. The article highlights the current evidence and provides sufficient information to inform further debate on the subject. As the authors themselves suggest, now we need further studies relating to flooring that has been specifically targeted to prevent falls and minimise injuries in healthcare settings – studies that have been assessed for clinical and cost effectiveness. Lorna Conn’s study looks at fall prevention more broadly and reports on a multidisciplinary and multi-professional falls prevention programme in Northern Ireland. We have published a fairly full account of the methodology adopted here to offer an example to practitioners that they could choose to adopt to evaluate similar programmes of their own. As with all regionally based studies, there are some specific differences attributable to local conditions. But Lorna’s evaluation of this programme suggests that a health promotional approach integrated into routine community care practices for the older population could contribute to significant reductions in falls. In both of these studies there is an evident need to continue to maintain the initiative deriving from initial policy proposals as the ageing and infirm population grows to avoid the unnecessary extra complications of disability deriving from preventable falls. Lorna includes the service user as part of the collaborative partnership required for effective health promotion interventions. The central message of Maria Lorentzon and Karen Bryan’s piece is to foster greater service user involvement in all interventions, in particular for the care of persons with dementia. They argue that if ‘person-centred care’ is to mean anything, then increased respect for people with dementia is required. By reviewing the range of ways in which user involvement can be enhanced they offer suggestions for a more caring and inclusive consideration of the needs of those with dementia. Clearly some cultural change is required before such fundamental changes in attitude and approach occur. Cultural comparison is at the root of Chih Hoong Sin’s paper looking at the differences and similarities between white–British and Asian–Indian familial support systems. He focuses on perceptions of the adequacy and the quality of support given the care-receiver’s expectations about such support. In the current crisis in attitudes towards, and understanding of, multiculturalism, Chih’s study counsels us to take care in making assumptions about any form of cultural dominance in perceptions about familial care obligations and responsibilities. For all families, expectations for familial caring will vary according to contextual factors such as geography, and traditional patterns of caring will inevitably be modified – along with expectations of caring obligations – with socioeconomic changes that affect all aspects of community life. Quality in Ageing – Policy, practice and research Volume 8 Issue 1 March 2007 © Pavilion Journals (Brighton) Ltd 2007

Journal

Quality in Ageing and Older AdultsPier Professional

Published: Mar 1, 2007

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