Significant changes have been made to the way in- home support for older people is delivered in Australia. The Australian government, via the Commonwealth Department of Health, funded Dr Russell to investigate the impact of these changes from the ‘consumer’ perspective. Dr Russell partnered with Peninsula Health to undertake this research.
The report begins with some background information about the aged care reforms, the different types of inhome care, consumer directed care, the wellness and reablement model and recent research.
The next section describes the research method, including its strengths and limitations. The strength of this research is that the researcher does not work in the aged care sector, for a government agency or for an agency that receives federal funding. This enabled participants to speak frankly and without fear of repercussions.
Participants were recruited through Peninsula Health, an aged care forum and via an online invitation posted on the Aged Care Matters’ website. A sample size of 40 allows some confidence that the research represents a wide range of views. However, the results of the research are not intended to be generalisable, nor was the sample representative in the standard scientific sense.
The research findings are divided into three main sections. The first section describes what is working well for those who receive in-home care. The second section describes older people and their family’s perception about what is not working well. In the final section, participants share their suggestions about how to improve both home care packages and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. Some suggestions for improvement have already been funded through the More Choices for a Longer Life budget measure.