“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable”

interprofessional elderly care

October 1st is the International Day of Elders.
Out of this occasion we organized this Conference where interprofessional cooperation can be facilitated with respect towards our grandmothers, grandfathers and great-grandparents.
The participants - geriatrics and other experts in the various fields of elderly care - discussed and agreed on the following.

Today the expansion of the number of elder people per one working person means that demographical happening. This leads the society and professions towards adapting to the situation and finding new solutions.
Geriatrics is a specially applied medical science which cooperates with other co-professions and enhances the knowledge of those to aim the elderly people’s optimal care.
Helping professions - social work; developing social science discipline - and geriatrics to have common definitions and use common thinking is essential to supply the growing care needs to adapt, to be financed by the care systems. Gerontology and geriatrics as sciences and practical professions give the main axis to this adaptation at a social level.
The target is to mediate solutions towards decision makers, co-professions and families who take care of elders in a challenging social and health care environment.

In the care of the elder people the main challenges are:

• Increased number of chronic progressive diseases with intellectual declines - dementia
• Increased dependency in activity of daily living - barriers in the movement
• Other geriatric syndromes with complex pathological background: incontinence etc.

Experts need to define the necessary actual and future activities and changes according to these bullet points towards decision makers, co-professions and the whole of society.

Essential elements for interprofessional elderly care becoming a practical, social and economic value:

• Treating the elders as a member of the family in the whole society
• Result orientated structure, processes, funding techniques and quality assurance systems
• Coordinated cooperation and creating priorities among professions including health and social care decision making
• Appropriate health information – telemedical systems, modern tools for the everyday work

By reaching the above mentioned bullet points, the actual key priorities and the basics of the cooperation of geriatrics work, need to be interpreted to decision makers, co-professions and the whole society at the same time. This is only possible in that language which is understood and applied by the cooperating teams. In this way finding and forming the common sound and language is a prerequisite for every upcoming result.

First of all it must be understood that the elder self-sufficient people are one of the greatest values for the mature society. The body of the family trees that we can be proud of. From this aspect, helping elder people bound to bed or wheelchair, who fight problems, cannot be a burden but a noble act which will be and can be solved together with the state care systems and families.

In the past geriatrics revealed its professional and theoretical principles and shared them with co-professions. Now the main challenge is to present the unique healthcare, social and economic points in the political decision making processes.
The big challenge of the future is to adopt these in the daily routine and grab the interest of the public, people and the whole society.

The care system’s structure took shape in a way not only because of funding and maintaining, but also of some social and cultural reasons.
Common usage of professional language between geriatrics dealing with elders and co-professions developing as social science discipline are essential for the system, which has to adapt to the increasing demands and financial support.
Elderly care to focus on the person and its welfare means a higher quality of life while it goes beyond each and every profession towards an Interprofessional cooperation. This co-work is getting wider and wider; there are initiatives and innovative solutions which are internationally acknowledged, but there are many opportunities for optimizing about the conversation with the decision makers, about education and social acceptance.

The main challenges of the present days are to introduce these healthcare, social and economic aspects in the political decision making. A task for the future is to make it a part of the everyday practice and to reach the public.

The principle of interprofessionality is not only by specific medical treatment and care must to prevail, but also during the education of the experts responsible, at every level and phase of graduate and post graduate trainings. The efficient correspondence among health care, social education, operation and funding is an essential requirement. The reality of this shall happen alongside common professional basics and knowledge.

There is a universal need to provide the policy and to fund to enable the implementation of innovative Interprofessional educational initiatives and practice models that will help us assure an ongoing workforce to meet the Interprofessional health and social needs of the new global population majority (these 65 years+).

1st of October, 2013, Budapest, Hungary




Ágnes Egervári M.D.
President of Social Cluster Association




Prof. Béla Székács M.D.,                     D.Sc. Prof. István Kiss M.D., Ph.D.
           President of HAGG                             President of XXXVI. Conference of HAGG