In Australia, care for the ageing, including community based aged care and health care, is a specialist area sitting between health and social services. Community based health services play an increasingly important role in the lives of older people, supporting them to maintain independence, promote healthy ageing and support health care service provision. The number of people requiring aged care services has been rising exponentially over the last ten years with higher proportion of older people (and particularly the ‘older old’ aged 85+) about to enter the aged care market. Increased demand will require innovative strategies to adapt health and aged care services to respond to these pressures. The relationship between health and ageing is essential to an enjoyable and productive experience of ageing and impacts the ability to age in environments of choice.
Research challenges in this area include the distribution of duty of care between health and aged care systems, impact of funding systems on access to care, aged care workforce clinical capacity, information management between providers, continuity of care, quality of life, advanced care planning and equity in health care access.
This project is taking a grounded theory approach to the systematic exploration and evaluation of pathways to care in the community nursing setting.