Community survey findings will help to shape hospice’s care for local people

As part of Rowcroft’s ambition to deliver on its commitment to enhance and extend its care, the hospice has been gathering the views of the South Devon community to see how it can help to support more people.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, the hospice carried out the research to ensure it continues to meet the needs of everyone it serves. The online survey covered a number of topics in relation to the care of the elderly, from specialist dementia provision and accommodation to transport and local amenities.

Care for those with dementia was a key concern, with 60% of respondents saying that more was needed. Improved end of life care, options for multi-generational companionship and accessible recreational activity venues also scored highly. Nearly 50% of respondents to each of these topics said that there wasn’t enough in the community to support the elderly population.

Torbay, in particular, has an aging population, and the number of people over the age of 85 is predicted to grow by 50% within the next ten years. In the Torbay Strategy for Housing in Later Life, it is estimated that by 2035, the area will have a 370 shortfall in nursing home beds.

Mark Hawkins, CEO of Rowcroft Hospice said: “Rowcroft is an integral part of the local community and it is important that we understand first-hand what people think is missing from the current care of the elderly landscape. By listening and taking on board their opinions, we can ensure our care evolves in a way that will best support everyone who needs us in the future.

“One of our main ambitions to achieve this and to make every day the best day possible for more patients, and their families, living with life limiting illnesses, is through the refurbishment of the hospice’s Inpatient Unit. Our aim for the refurbishment is to give our patients and their families even greater independence and choice during those vital moments together, as well as enhance the level of care to ensure that their physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual needs are being met.

“Following the survey results, we are now going to investigate how we can extend our offer to support the dementia care gap. We will also be exploring how we can help to make the multi-generational and recreational connections for the elderly that are currently missing.

“Our research resonates with both the national and local picture – not enough nursing home beds or elderly living facilities to support an ageing population. As Torbay’s only local hospice for people with life limiting illnesses and their families, we are committed to playing our part in supporting this need in our own community”