What do you think?
- Why does helping a client navigate and gain access to community services matter?
- How might this information be used to inform Continuing Care Health Service Standards 1.0 Standardized Assessment and Person-Centred Care Planning, 2.0 Case Management, and/or related sub-standards?
- Are there differences between zones? Between mainly rural and urban zones? What factors could account for these differences?
Whether you’re a client, family member, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start or inform conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.
Understanding “case manager (help with community services)”
In a survey conducted from October 2018 to March 2019, the HQCA asked clients receiving home care:
In the last year, did your case manager help you get [these] other types of services in your community….
Clients could choose:
- I needed services but my case manager didn’t help me
- My case manager tried to help me but I still didn’t get other services
- Yes, I was helped by my case manager to get other services
Often, home care clients have wishes or needs that extend beyond what home care provides. The HQCA survey asks clients to provide examples of the types of services they need but aren’t getting. The top five services identified are housekeeping, grounds keeping (e.g., cutting the grass, raking leaves, snow removal), grocery or meal assistance, therapies (e.g., access to or more time with physio, massage, or exercise therapy), and bathing.
Case managers are encouraged to discuss clients’ needs that cannot be met by home care services and determine if there are other services in the community that could meet those needs. For other services needed outside of home care, a case manager may facilitate the connection directly or suggest the client or loved one reach out to a service provider.
Considerations when viewing the results:
This data reflects the experiences of seniors aged 65+ receiving long term supportive and maintenance care and are among the largest groups of home care clients.
There are a number of factors providers and leaders can consider to better understand and improve client experiences with their care manager, related to help with community services. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:
- What types of services are clients thinking about when they reflect on “other types of services in your community”? To what extent do clients have common needs?
- How are available resources and contacts shared among other case managers in a specific area?
- What are some challenges case managers encounter in helping make connections to other community services? How could case managers and community and social service staff work better together to overcome some of these challenges?
- How do clients know what services can or cannot be delivered by the home care program? What are some of the common service gaps? What about community and social service staff? Why might it be helpful if they understood what is in home care’s basket of services?
- What is the role of community and social service agencies in filling care and service gaps? How can community and social service staff work with home care case managers to address gaps in services (e.g., for individuals or in a specific location)?
- What role do informal caregivers play in filling care and service gaps? How can informal caregivers work with home care case managers to address gaps in services (e.g., for individuals or in a specific location)?
For information about the HQCA’s Alberta Seniors Home Care Client Survey, please visit the HQCA website.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess home care’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
Dimensions of Quality