Dr Paul Baughan, our National Clinical Lead for Palliative and End of Life Care and GP in Dollar, tells us about Mr Lucas who appears in our new video below.
My first contact with Mr Lucas was sadly not a pleasant one. It was Christmas Eve 2014 and he had travelled from Birmingham to spend time with his family. I was called when he suddenly took unwell, and I sent him to hospital for treatment of an evolving stroke. Mr Lucas spent that Christmas in hospital.
Stroke disease is one of many conditions which contribute to ‘frailty’. People living with frailty have reduced resilience to illnesses such as infections, to injuries following falls, or to emotional stress such as following a loss or bereavement. This makes people living with frailty particularly vulnerable and at risk of unplanned admission to hospital.
However by identifying people living with frailty at an earlier stage through tools such as the eFI (electronic frailty index), it is possible to provide evidence-based interventions and support which can help them live independently at home. At the moment 21 teams across Scotland are taking part in the Living and Dying Well with Frailty Collaborative to improve the care provided to people with frailty. These teams are looking at how health and social care can work more closely together to support people as they become more frail.
By identifying people early, before a crisis, and putting in the right services and support, it is possible to help those with frailty to live a fulfilling life in their own homes.
Mr Lucas moved to live in Clackmannanshire following his stroke so that he could be closer to his family. In this video Mr Lucas gives a clear account of how he is supported to enjoy the things that are important to him – his books and good music. He describes how aids and equipment around his house have helped him, and the huge impact that professional carers make to his day to day life. I first met Mr Lucas in difficult circumstances. It was a delight to interview him for this video and to see how his life has changed and been enhanced through this vital support.