Think Tank

Rethinking Age Care, Services and Supports

Countries in the developed world are–of necessity–engaged in rethinking their approach to aged care, services and supports. Assumptions of the past about utilization and philosophy of care are being replaced by a more distrubuted, consumer-centric mindset.

In Switzerland, CURAVIVA has put forth a vision in which the role of providers is to enable people in need of long-term services and supports to live in their preferred home environment. The 2030 Residential and Care Model of CURAVIVA Switzerland stresses the importance of community and maximizing the ability of people to live a “full life” in their preferred social setting and living space. Specialized care will address dementia, palliative care and other more acute needs. As CURAVIVA writes, “a generational change in which ‘nothing will ever be the same again” will take place for the first time in history. This fact alone should obviate any simple continuation of the exiting long-term care scheme.

Similarly, the recently released the Australian Aged Care Roadmap aims for aged care that is sustainable and consumer-led in which consumers have increased choice and control of the care and support they receive as well as where, how and when they receive it. This vision assumes consumers are proactive in planning for their future care needs, that a single and independent assessment process drives care decisions and that there is a well-led and well-trained workforce.

Among the driving principles is the understanding that consumers will be active partners throughout the care journey and be part of decision-making processes. And, to support that,”a light touch approach to regulation will give providers freedom to be innovative on how they deliver services.”

What underscores these two visions is an unmistakable understanding that consumers, rather than providers, will drive how, when and where care, services and supports are delivered.

Providers will need to be flexible and able to adjust to being supports and partners in the ageing journey rather than the drivers of a model of care.