Impact of community care in enabling older people with complex needs to remain at home

Int J Older People Nurs. 2009 Mar;4(1):22-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2008.00152.x. Epub 2009 Jan 19.


Aim. This aim of the study was to explore the impact of community care in enabling older people with complex needs to remain at home. Background. Changing demographic trends and successive government policies have led to an increase in the number of older people with complex needs residing in the community. Design. A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews was used to collect data from older people (n = 17) and carers (n = 14). Method. Social workers were asked to identify community dwelling older people (65+ years) with multiple needs requiring interventions from a range of health and social care practitioners. Results. Community care enabled older people with complex needs who would otherwise have required residential or nursing home care to remain in their own homes. This was the expressed wish of both the older people and carers interviewed. Conclusions. The provision of high-quality community care for older people is a globally significant challenge and one that requires creative solutions, both at a local and strategic level. Relevance to clinical practice. Nurses and other health and social care professionals need to understand the significance of 'home' for older people and take steps to ensure that additional and appropriate resources are targeted towards community care.