The chronic nature of many of the conditions our older patients experience means that we must encourage them to participate in their care in hospital and involve them and their families and carers, as appropriate, in the process of discharge planning.

Patients and their families and carers play a critical role in keeping themselves well once they are discharged. Consider how aspects of each person's unique biological and psychosocial needs interact with their environment. By understanding their particular values, preferences and social supports we can shape meaningful discharge plans, encourage participation in social activities of interest and equip them with realistic strategies they can implement once discharged to keep well. Each of the clinical topics on this site emphasises the role of partnership in this process.