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Delivering person-centered care in the home – Integrating aged care and NDIS

The aged care and disability support systems in Australia are undergoing significant reforms to improve quality of life and increase consumer choice and control. The National Disability Insurance Scheme takes a person-centered approach to providing disability support, while the aged care sector is moving towards more consumer-directed care. Integrating aged care and NDIS services for older people with disability brings opportunities to deliver individualized, holistic care in the home.

Benefits of integrated care

Combining aged care and NDIS services allows older people to access a full range of supports from one care plan tailored to their needs and preferences. NDIS funding is used for disability-related needs such as assistive technologies, therapy, and support services. Aged care funding provides personal care, nursing, and domestic assistance. Integrated care means the person does not have to deal separately with two systems. Assessments, planning, coordination, and delivery of support are streamlined through a collaborative process.

  • Continuity of care and consistency of support workers.
  • Seamless access to a range of aged care, disability, health, and other services.
  • Focus on abilities and strengths, not just age-related decline.
  • Flexibility to change supports over time as needs change.
  • Shared accountability between providers for quality of life outcomes.

For providers, integrated aged care and NDIS allow:

  • Shared expertise in aged care and disability support.
  • Developing new models of care attuned to individual needs.
  • A more holistic understanding of the consumer’s needs and circumstances.
  • Consistent communication and information sharing across providers.
  • Reduced duplication in assessment, planning, and review processes.
  • Innovation in service delivery, workforce development, and care technologies.

Delivering person-centered care at home

The principles of 1st Care Community underline both aged care and NDIS services. Person-centered care respects the person’s autonomy, individuality, dignity, and relationships. Understanding the individual’s history, personality, interests, strengths, and values is at its foundation. Practical ways to deliver person-centered aged care and disability services at home include:

  • Relationships – Having consistent support workers that the person knows and trusts. Support workers trained in person-centered approaches to communicate effectively and build rapport.
  • Control – The person makes decisions about their care and daily routines. Support workers embrace enablement and rehabilitation, not just doing for.
  • Flexibility – Accommodating changes in needs, preferences, and circumstances. Customizing support to match the person’s goals.
  • Partnerships – Collaborating with family, friends, and advocates as partners in care. Recognizing the person is an expert in their own life.
  • Wellbeing – Focus on the person’s strengths and abilities. Add meaning and joy by supporting community, social, and cultural connections.

Home support workers create an environment where the person feels empowered, valued, and safe. Practical strategies include:

  • Following the person’s daily routines and respecting personal space.
  • Using tools like visual calendars and schedules to support communication and predictability.
  • Involving the person in meal preparation, household tasks, and activities they enjoy.
  • Ensuring aides and technologies are tailored to the individual’s needs and abilities.
  • Facilitating community access and social connections.
  • Adjusting communication styles to suit the person’s abilities and preferences.
  • Being reliable and communicative so the person knows what to expect.

Adoption is more successful when consumers directly use technologies tailored to their needs.

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