A survey of more than 700 older people supported by 12 Brisbane-based Commonwealth Home Support Program providers has found they rate their overall quality of life higher than those on a home care package.
However, one in five CHSP recipients don’t feel they are sufficiently engaged in things they value and enjoy, or think they have enough social participation.
The Brisbane-based [email protected] consortium of CHSP providers surveyed more than 730 clients over the 2019-20 financial year about whether the services they were getting were improving their quality of life.
Based on the UK-developed ASCOT quality of life scale, the results showed a social care-related quality of life score of 0.86, which is comparable to the general UK population and higher than service recipients in that country.
The data was also compared to the NSW Ageing Well at Home: Measuring the Impact of Community Care for Older People study, which used the Australian Community Care Outcome Measurement (ACCOM) tool.
Results indicated that [email protected] consumers experienced a comparable quality of life to the general community in NSW and a higher quality of life than people receiving all levels of home Care.
The survey responses showed CHSP consumers reported higher levels of satisfaction for personal cleanliness and food and drink, but lower levels of satisfaction were reported for meaningful activity and social participation.
“Ultimately, one in five survey respondents didn’t feel they were engaged enough in things they valued or enjoyed and the same proportion didn’t feel they had enough social participation,” said Julie Morrow, manager of Healthy Ageing at Brisbane North PHN which leads the consortium.
Ms Morrow said it was somewhat surprising that the domain of ‘occupation’ – meaningful activity – rated as a higher level of unmet need than social isolation.
“It shows that there’s a lot more we can engage older people in, we’re not using our older people to a good effect in society and we need to be more creative as a sector to be able to facilitate that more,” she told Community Care Review.
She also said it was concerning that CHSP recipients seemed to have a higher quality of life than those receiving a home care package.
“Obviously people having higher care needs to be on a package but we still should be aiming for quality of life. Obviously it’s not being achieved uqite to the same extent and hopefully that will change down the track.”
Ms Morrow says it’s the first time multiple aged care organisations anywhere in Australia have collaborated and shared this kind of information, with the ASCOT tool providing [email protected] with a valuable evidence-based insight into the self-reported needs of consumers.
“The important thing is for us to start measuring outcomes of service provision so we can actually base our service provision on evidence, and we think that’s an important direction to take, particularly in light of the reablement focus in aged care,” she told Community Care Review.
“It was very reassuring in one sense that there was reasonable quality of life, but there’s always room for improvement and we now have the means to be able make that improvement.
“The data we collected will create a baseline that we can use as an indicator of change over time.”
The [email protected] consortium is now investigating the use the ASCOT for individual care planning and care review.
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