Vulnerable elderly people in Houten need a key figure in the network for cohesion in home care

The Health and Youth Care Inspectorate investigated how the municipality of Houten organised care networks in home environments for vulnerable elderly people. The investigation focused on the collaboration and cohesion in transfer, treatment, care and support at home. The inspectors interviewed twelve clients. They were elderly people who were admitted in the Haltna House care centre in Houten for a short period of time. These elderly people were discharged and received care at home. The Inspectorate also interviewed eleven informal caregivers and 34 care providers from the network of these patients. In this study, the Inspectorate collaborated with the Stichting Zorg in Houten, a care foundation in the municipality of Houten.

This study was a pilot for the Inspectorate in order to further develop supervision of care networks in home environments.

Positive image: satisfied elderly people in Houten and significant willingness to collaborate

In general, the Inspectorate had  a positive impression of  integrated care among vulnerable elderly people in home environments in Houten. Many of the studied themes are going well in Houten. Integrated care in the home environment meets the needs of elderly people. Elderly people have as much control as possible over their care at home. The informal caregivers, however, are more critical. The Inspectorate also found that some informal caregivers feel too heavily burdened. The Inspectorate concluded that care providers in Houten would like to collaborate with one another. However, the practical implementation of this collaboration is sometimes difficult.

Coordination of the network can be improved

The Inspectorate found that coordination and harmonisation of care in the network is still insufficient. According to the Inspectorate, this is where the greatest benefits can be achieved. Coordination of the care network can lie with the patient or with someone else. But currently, it is often unclear who is responsible for coordination.

Greater coherence is also needed between the care that is provided and the possibilities for support from the municipality. The Inspectorate now sees a great distance between them. Care providers are often unknown to the people who support the network. They often do not know what the municipality can offer. In addition, the municipality is inadequate in reaching vulnerable elderly people and their informal caregivers.

Integrated care in home environment

The organisations involved in providing care and support in the municipality of Houten will start to work on the recommendations described in the study. The Inspectorate has offered to conduct a brief follow-up study in Houten after some time. They will examine whether coordination of the network involving vulnerable elderly people living at home has improved.

Other regions and municipalities can also learn from the results of this Inspectorate study. They can use this report in their search for the practical implementation of changes in integrated care in home environments.