Responding to vulnerability in old age: patient-centred care
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Responding to vulnerability in old age: patient-centred care

Clare Abley Nurse consultant, Vulnerable older adults, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and associate clinical researcher, Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Patient-centred care is a term widely used in health policy and is familiar to staff as a principle or commonly agreed approach to care. However, nursing and multidisciplinary teams often do not agree how it should be provided for older patients. This article outlines three different models of patient-centred care applicable to the care of older people. The article also explores the concept of vulnerability in old age, highlighting differences between the perspectives of older people and those of professionals and how clinical practice can be improved to achieve a more patient-centred approach. The links between patient-centred care and vulnerability in old age are considered along with the implications of this for clinical practice.

Nursing Standard. 27, 9,42-46. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.10.27.9.42.c9384

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review