The push towards consumer directed care and ageing in place
How will these measures impact the transition to aged care?
[Image: C. Langballe - Unsplash]
As the Aged Care industry moves towards Consumer Directed Care and the Australian Government emphasises Ageing in Place we believe that we will see a shift in how and when people transition into aged care. Golden Years Home Transitions is a company which works directly with seniors and their families to assist with the process of moving from their homes into aged care facilities or retirement living, so we are well placed to observe the changes, both demographic and attitudinal, taking place.
An ageing population is a global issue, with many countries around the world implementing new ideas, methods of care, and supporting technological innovation to prepare for the enormous increase in older citizens and the demand that will be placed on care providers and health care systems.
In Australia, we have shifted toward a system that is directly driven by the participants of the system. Consumer Directed Care is in part a response from the Baby Boomer Generation, who saw the poor standards of institutionalised care for their grandparents, and who not only expect better for their parents but will most definitely demand better for themselves as they age over the next 20 years or so. A shift towards market driven solutions, provided by ‘full-profit’ organisations particularly, suits their consumer mindset and higher expectations of service delivery.
Observationally, we have noticed a clear shift in client demographics since 2017, with many seniors eschewing the ‘traditional’ path of downsizing into retirement living followed by a move into residential aged care when their needs require it, choosing instead to coordinate a variety of at home services to support them and in turn keeping them in their homes longer. Increasingly we are seeing referrals from home care package providers directly, with in-home service providers identifying clients in need of transition.
What does this mean for the transition process? And how does the Senior Move Management industry in Australia respond to this? Increasingly, people will choose to age at home until it becomes untenable for them to remain, having utilised the wide range of technological innovations and services emerging as a response to consumer directed care. The age of transition will continue to rise hand in hand with the uptake of homecare packages and in-home support, meaning those making the decision to move into care will be doing so with higher level needs and higher rates of cognitive impairment.
Supporting our clients, logistically and emotionally, through what can be a highly traumatic process is our core motivation and will continue to guide our approach. However, we recognise that going forward our clients, and especially the adult children of our clients, will be more technologically savvy, demand value for money, and have higher expectations of the services we provide. They will also be differently placed along the ageing continuum, have higher level needs, and will most likely require much higher levels of support throughout the process. The impacts of these changes will be felt throughout the aged care industry and will require a certain level of agility from all providers of service to the industry.
[Source: Cameron Early, Managing Director of Golden Years Home Transitions, www.goldenyears.com.au]