The purpose of this paper is to provide an account of a comprehensive and independent study of 1,029 older people who receive home care in Wales. The study aims to expand knowledge on the views of older people, a group who traditionally have struggled to make their voices heard. It asked older people about six specific components of home care: being listened to; having trained, knowledgeable and skilled care workers; having enough time to be cared for; receiving care from as few different workers as possible; receiving quality care; and being signposted to other sources of information.
After an initial literature review and period of analysis, a thematic framework for home care was developed which contained the six components described above. A questionnaire was subsequently designed and distributed via the post to all home care services over 65 years old in four local authorities across Wales. A sample response rate of 26.7 per cent was achieved.
The paper provides evidence on the levels of satisfaction (or otherwise) with the home care received by older people in Wales. Overall, nearly 85 per cent of older people are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, and given the sample size these data are significant (within appropriate confidence intervals) for the whole of the 25,000 people who receive home care in Wales. However, it is difficult to contextualise these findings given that there are no effective comparator data.
Given the chosen research approach, the results may lack a certain depth of understanding. That said, the size of the sample does provide commissioners and providers of services with certainty about the general population view.
This paper offers a unique independent analysis of home care in Wales, and provides the reader with detailed insights into the views of older people who rarely get a chance to be heard.
This study from which this paper is drawn was funded by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, and the authors gratefully acknowledge their support.
Llewellyn, M., Longley, M., Jarvis, P. and Garthwaite, T. (2013), "Older people and home care in Wales: findings from a survey of service users", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 167-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-05-2013-0009Download as .RIS
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