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Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 209–216 | Cite as

Preventive home visits to older people in Denmark

Why, how, by whom, and when?
  • Mikkel Vass
  • Kirsten Avlund
  • Carsten Hendriksen
  • Lotte Philipson
  • Povl Riis
CONTRIBUTION TO THE MAIN TOPIC

Abstract

In Denmark, political decisions improved the implementation of ‘preventative thinking’ into every-day clinical work. The potential benefits of preventive efforts have been supported by legislative and administrative incentives, and an ongoing effort to remain focused on the benefits of these initiatives towards older people is politically formulated and underlined as part of the new structured municipality reform.

Evidence of beneficial effects of health promotion and prevention of disease in old age is well documented. In-home visits with individualised assessments make it possible to reach older persons not normally seen in the health care system. In-home assessment is not just a health check, but also an opportunity to meet individual needs that may be of importance for older people to stay independent. Preventive home visits may be part of an overall culture and strategy to avoid or prevent functional decline. There is an urgent need of an interdisciplinary teamwork and management for such programmes, incorporating flexible cooperation between the primary and secondary health care sector. The value and importance of geriatric and gerontological education is evidence based.

Key words

older people functional decline home visits community health care municipality organisation eduction 

Vorbeugende Hausbesuche bei älteren Menschen in Dänemark – warum, wie, von wem und wann?

Zusammenfassung

Politische Entscheidungen haben in Dänemark die Verankerung präventiven Denkens in der alltäglichen Praxis erleichtert. Der mögliche Nutzen präventiver Maßnahmen wurde durch die Gesetzgebung und administrative Anreize unterstützt. Der politische Wille zur weiteren Förderung dieser Initiativen für alte Menschen findet seinen Ausdruck in Teilen der neuen Gemeindereform.

Die Evidenz günstiger Effekte durch Gesundheitsförderung und Krankheitsprävention im höheren Lebensalter ist gut dokumentiert. Hausbesuche unter Verwendung individueller Assessments erreichen ältere Menschen, die normaler Weise nicht im Gesundheitssystem erreicht werden. Häusliches Assessment ist nicht nur ein Gesundheitscheck, sondern bietet die Möglichkeit, sich mit individuellen Bedürfnissen zu beschäftigen, die für die Selbstständigkeit älterer Menschen von Bedeutung sind. Präventive Hausbesuche könnten Teil einer Gesamtstrategie sein, die zum Ziel hat, die Entwicklung von funktionellen Einbußen zu verhindern. Es gibt einen dringenden Bedarf für interdisziplinäre Teamarbeit in derartigen Programmen, die flexible Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem primären und sekundären Gesundheitssektor einschließt. Der Nutzen und die Bedeutung geriatrischer und gerontologischer Ausbildung ist evident.

Schlüsselwörter

ältere Menschen funktionaler Abbau Hausbesuche gemeinschaftliche Gesundheitspflege Gemeindeorganisation Ausbildung 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikkel Vass
    • 1
  • Kirsten Avlund
    • 2
  • Carsten Hendriksen
    • 3
  • Lotte Philipson
    • 4
  • Povl Riis
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Social Medicine, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen
  3. 3.Department of Social Medicine, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Copenhagen and Bispebjerg, University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.AgeForumThe Danish Ministry of Social AffairsOdense CDenmark

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