New Study Proves ‘Household Model’ Makes Aged Care Residents Feel Right at Home

on the Tuesday, May 11, 2021

An independent evaluation of Uniting's Household model by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), has concluded that the model of care increases residents’ sense of choice and control in a home-like environment.

The model gives greater freedom to care teams to support older people to maintain a sense of normality as well as have meaning and purpose in their day.

Uniting Executive Manager Practice Excellence, Lana Richards said the findings support the adoption of the care model to deliver better outcomes for residents and staff alike.

“We’ve been working towards Household since 2015 and the evaluation has helped us better understand what home means to older people and the importance of feeling safe and comfortable. 

For staff, it has highlighted the benefit of being able to exercise some autonomy and make decisions about how work gets done to meet residents’ routines,” said Ms Richards. 

The multi-methods study was conducted by academics from the Faculty of Health at UTS over two years.  

“The interviews conducted for qualitative study demonstrated the model enhanced residents’ wellbeing and autonomy, recognising their individuality and embracing family members. Staff reported increased job satisfaction, greater teamwork and shared responsibilities,” said Professor of Health Services Management at UTS, Jo Travaglia.

The evaluation highlighted the need for Uniting to collect and capture different information to better measure wellbeing and outcomes alongside traditional metrics.

“Uniting’s approach to residential aged care is simple: older people should feel at home; live their day their way, have their own space, and continue to do the things that matter to them with the people that matter to them,” said Ms Richards.

Uniting Director of Ageing Saviour Buhagiar said the latest research is encouraging and further evidence that smaller households are the future of residential aged care.

“We hope the Federal Government when considering the recommendations of the Royal Commission, can look to the innovation inherent in Uniting’s household model.”

“It’s been brought to life in services like Uniting Amala in the ACT. We hope offerings like this inspire Government to deliver on immediate and longer-term investments and reforms older people need and deserve to enable them to live their lives to the fullest,” said Mr Buhagiar.

Lana Richards will share Uniting’s evaluation findings on the Household model at the 33rd Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) National Online Summit on Tuesday 18 May.

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