CASCADE – Community Areas of Sustainable Care And Dementia Excellence in Europe – is part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme and will run from 2017 to 2021.
It is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has a budget of over €9.2 million and involves partners from the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium and France (see below for partner details).
This exciting project will develop a financially sustainable approach to elderly dementia care that can be replicated across Europe. Uniquely, it will exploit existing unused public housing stock to create facilities providing both short-term respite care as well as longer term residence. The facilities will also fully engage with the local community, offering opportunities for shared use and everyday interactions. The premises will also be a hub for telemedicine and enable a cascade of shared learning and cross-border excellence in dementia care for the future. (The CASCADE Press release contains more information)
Background to the project
Ageing is one of the major societal challenges identified both by the cooperation programme & Europe 2020. According to Francesca Colombo, OECD “Health systems across the OECD are still too hospital focused & struggle to innovate approaches to care for an ageing population. There is certainly still a gap between the needs of the elderly & the way care services are organised & produced. Making the needs of old people central to the development of services & products will help. There is a need to encourage innovation as a way to improve productivity in caring”. CASCADE is an original approach that seeks to meet 3 of the OECD’s long term care priorities ensuring fiscal & financial sustainability, enhancing standards of quality of long term care services & care coordination between health & long term care.
At present old people spend unnecessary time blocking hospital beds as there are no suitable facilities for them pre or post a medical operation that provides more care than what they would receive in their home context (this may be residential care or their own home) but less care than a hospital bed. Hospital beds are very expensive for the state to pay for (approx €4K/bed/week).
The challenge is to provide care for elderly patients with unmet needs to maximise their independence and respond to their different needs at different points in time. It must integrate them more closely with their communities in a manner that can be applied in different geographic & social settings with the emphasis on people living with dementia staying in their own homes for as long as possible in a safe and supported way.
CASCADE will bring together an anecdotally highly successful but unevaluated small scale care model for elderly patients (Guesthouses) with dementia experts from across the 2Seas region to build evaluated facilities. Via co-creation they will ensure that patients do not become isolated from their local community. By using disused publicly owned housing stock as the basis of a new freely available model of service delivery, transferrable to the private sector CASCADE will have wide applicability & be financially sustainable. Furthermore CASCADE will also address the issue of economic regeneration in coastal areas as the new centres are based in coastal areas, driving the creation of new jobs in the caring sector.
The project will deliver:
- A new holistic model of care for people living with dementia and the elderly in local communities encompassing respite, rehabilitation & residential care. This model will be financially sustainable, relevant to both public and private settings and freely available.
- A cross border centre of elderly/dementia care excellence through telemedicine to promote virtual consultation/learning/research/innovation
- 50 new beds across two countries for the elderly and people living with dementia
- New multilingual learning package providing training for all people having contact with people living with dementia
- Internationally peer reviewed evidence base, showing the cost saving of this new way of working leading to project roll out across 2Seas area & further