DESPITE a push towards active aging, increasingly delayed morbidity rates and the growth in home support services, it is a fact of life that a percentage of our aging population will still require high level residential aged care in their final years. Should this mean, however, that such Australians are denied the right to "age in place"? "No" would seem to be the answer with accommodation providers responding to such desires by steadily integrating mainstream and high care facilities.
According to the Productivity Commissions report into the Housing Decisions of Older Australians,
"The strong preference of older people to age in place and delay entry into residential aged care is a driver for growing integration of accommodation and aged care services in the housing options that precede residential aged care...Retirement village operators are expanding their care and health services and increasingly co-locating with residential aged care facilities". *
Such a trend is something residential service providers, Freedom Aged Care, is well in tune with, according to national marketing manager, Craig Flett.
"At Freedom Aged Care the residents have the ability to age in place while still maintaining the freedom to choose the life they live."
According to Mr Flett, it is the ability of residents to maintain the normality of their lives that attracts them to Freedom. The majority of residents arrive with some degree of care need and as this progresses, are able to receive increasing degrees of support without having to shift into another facility.
"The care and support that's delivered allows 97% + of our residents to 'age in place' in their own home for the duration of their journey."
The desire to be anchored to familiar surrounds is strong one amongst older Australians. More thoughtful approaches, particularly in the area of high care, will enable this to become a reality for a greater percentage of our population.
* SOURCE : Productivity Commission 2015, Housing Decisions of Older Australians, Commission Research Paper, Canberra