“I’m On My Own, I Need Support”: Needs Assessment of Community Aged Care Services
International Journal of Integrated Care
Introduction: Well-integrated community aged care services empower and enable older people to live and thrive in the community by supporting activities of daily living. To inform integrated community aged care service planning and delivery in South Western Sydney Australia, a needs assessment with consumers (i.e., older people), their caregivers, and healthcare providers was conducted. This study details the comprehensive and inclusive needs assessment process undertaken, with a focus on translating the findings into practice to improve integrated care. Description: Qualitative interviews and community forum-style focus groups engaged 160 stakeholders including GPs, older people, and aged care workers. Transcribed data were thematically coded using an inductive approach. Data were organised into four themes: 1) access to community aged care services; (2) healthcare and medical needs; (3) social concerns and needs; and (4) education and information needs. Discussion: The needs assessment undertaken identified unmet needs, gaps in service provision, and recommendations for improving integrated community aged care services. Conclusion: Findings are novel in the context of South Western Sydney, Australia. The study design, methods employed, and lessons learned can be adapted internationally for future needs assessments to inform policy, strategies, and integrated aged care service delivery.
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Western Sydney Local Health District