“Long Live the Elderly!”: a European Community-based pro-Active Monitoring Program to counteract social isolation in the population aged>80

“Long Live the Elderly!” is a Community-based pro-Active Monitoring Programme (CAMP), developed and run by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a non-for-profit international organization. It was launched  in Rome, in 2004, after the older adults’ super-mortality due to the heat waves occurred in the summer 2003 in several EU Countries.

It is aimed at:

1.      Preventing  social isolation and its consequences among older adults aged>80

2.      Detecting individuals who are frail among this population

3.      Establishing a support network focused on frail individuals

4.      Helping the older adults to face critical events,. such as heat waves, colds, falls,

 It is operating in Italy (several cities including Rome, Novara, Genoa, Naples, Civitavecchia, Brindisi, Sassari), and  in Barcellona. It will start next 1st October 2021 in Antwerp and it is going to start in Prague.  It is operative for the whole year “seeking” people aged>80 especially  in critical moments,  by:

1.      Awareness campaigns

2.      Phone calls

3.      Home visits

4.      Social contact office

The “Long Live the Elderly!”  (LLE) program aimed to cope with social isolation in the older adults aged more than 74, limited the impact of social isolation on death during the environmental emergencies by increasing the resilience of the population target of the intervention. It is run  by social workers and social operators, who assess the frailty of the individuals and set up individuals care plans to deal with the persons’ difficulties either social or health problems.   In the last five years (2015-2019) the increase of mortality during summer heat waves was always 50% lower in the urban areas where the program operated than in the adjacent urban areas

Similar outcomes have been observed during the COVID 19 crisis: the increase of mortality among people aged>80 observed in the general population after the second week of march 2020, has not been recorded among the LLE participants (fig 2)

Moreover, the same program decreased of more than 25% the acute hospital admissions in the first six months of follow up and the admission to long term care facilities were also reduced by 30% per year on average

 

References

·         E Terracciano, S Gentili, O Madaro, E Curti, MC Inzerilli, L Albanese, ... The effect of community nurse on mortality and hospitalization in a group of over-75 older adults: a nested case-control study. Annali di Igiene: Medicina Preventiva e di Comunita

·         G Liotta, N Accarino, S Orlando, S Gentili, E Terracciano, P Scarcella, ... Management of bio-psycho-social frailty to reduce hospital use and improve survival of older adults European Journal of Public Health 30 (Supplement_5), ckaa165. 605

·         G Liotta, O Madaro, MC Inzerilli, P Scarcella, MC Marazzi.Impact of social interventions on older adults’ mortality and hospitalization European Journal of Public Health 28 (suppl_4), cky213. 504

·         G Liotta, MC Inzerilli, L Palombi, A Bianchini, L Di Gennaro, O Madaro, ...Impact of social care on Hospital Admissions in a sample of community-dwelling older adults: Results of a quasi-experimental study. Ann Ig 30 (5), 378-386

·         G Liotta, MC Inzerilli, L Palombi, O Madaro, S Orlando, P Scarcella, ... Social interventions to prevent heat-related mortality in the older adult in Rome, Italy: A quasi-experimental study International journal of environmental research and public health 15 (4), 715

·         MC Marazzi, MC Inzerilli, M Olga, L Palombi, P Scarcella, S Orlando, . Impact of the community-based active monitoring program on the long term care services use and in-patient admissions of the over-74 population January 2015 Advances in Aging Research 04(06):187-194 DOI:10.4236/aar.2015.46020