New tools promote “person-centred” aged care

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A Flinders University team has developed two new tools to measure quality of life and quality of care in aged care, in a study funded by providers.

The Quality of Care Experience-Aged Care Consumers (QCE-ACC) and the Quality of Life-Aged Care Consumers (QOL-ACC) tools were developed in response to the Royal Commission, with funding assistance from ECH, Helping Hand, Uniting AgeWell, Uniting NSW.ACT, and Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT.

The review by Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute highlighted nine key themes that it says are vital to quality aged care:

  1. Treating the older person with respect and dignity
  2. Acknowledging and supporting their spiritual, cultural, religious and sexual identity
  3. The skills and training of the aged care staff providing care
  4. Relationships between the older person and the aged care staff
  5. Social relationships and the community
  6. Supporting the older person to make informed choices
  7. Supporting the older person’s health and wellbeing
  8. Ensuring the delivery of safe care in a comfortable service environment
  9. The ability to make complaints and provide feedback to the aged care organisation.

According to project leader Professor Julie Ratcliffe, traditional clinical methods of measuring aged care quality have not taken into account the residents’ own experiences.

“Following the findings of the Royal Commission we know changes to the industry need to be made and they must put older people at the heart.

“Our tools are valid and reliable measures, and we implore providers to put them to use and bring about a change toward person-centred care,” she said.

The study involved 3,000 older Australians and seven aged care providers, with the tools now available here.