Ron was a caregiver to his father who lived with Alzheimer’s for 10+ years, where his dad aged and lived in place at home until his passing in January of 2018. Ron is known for utilizing technology, his local community, innovative strategies, and other compassionate care team members to support his family’s life to live well and as best as possible.
Re-thinking excellence for older adults: Quality, safety and choice in home care
Ron Beleno, Healthcare Excellence Canada, Canada
Kathryn Graves, Healthcare Excellence Canada, Canada
Megan Taylor, Healthcare Excellence Canada, Canada
The opportunity is upon us to reimagine care for older adults and define excellence in care for this population. We know there are opportunities to work collaboratively across sectors, agencies, and particularly primary care. This paper describes how quality improvement organizations, influencers and change agents, new thinking, integrative approaches, and system change have come together to create collective impact to empower older adults to receive safe, quality care in their place of choice.
Over a period of nine months Pan-Canadian Health Organizations and other partners came together to explore opportunities to reimagine excellence in care for older adults living at home. We reviewed relevant literature and reports; engaged in numerous conversations with organizations and individuals that were working in this space; and then facilitated focus groups where people with lived experiences, along with those working directly in the homecare field, shared their own learnings and priorities for supporting older adults to access safe and quality care at home.
We identified six main themes of barriers and enablers to ageing in place which were:
- Individualized approaches to care, where people have control and flexibility over the care they receive, and where system barriers are addressed.
- Having access to appropriate technology to support living at home, no matter where you live.
- Acknowledging that informal caregivers are essential partners in care but need support in navigating the health and social care system.
- Supporting homecare teams by valuing the work they do and ensuring investment in education and support is equal to that in acute hospitals and long-term care.
- Effective partnerships and collaboration with the wider healthcare system to reduce impact on home care provision.
- Ensuring equal access and provision of home care, especially in relation to services for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis; older people living in rural and remote communities; and in marginalized populations.
The six themes identified in this work will underpin an exploration for innovative models of care and the establishment of strategic partnerships and approaches to support implementation of proven innovations, as well as mechanisms for policy change to inform future program planning. Using technology, a platform allowing enhanced sharing will be developed for stakeholders to access new innovations on demand, as well as knowledge products, tools, and resources. All activities will be co-designed and supported by embedded patient and family partners, as well as other key stakeholders.