Client experience with independence (home set-up)

How clients rated how professional home care services set-up their home to be independent. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • Why does having a home set-up to do things independently matter? How does this support client safety and quality of life?
  • How might this information be used to inform Continuing Care Health Service Standards 1.0 Standardized Assessment, 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 “experience with independence (home set-up)”

In a survey conducted from October 2018 to March 2019, the HQCA asked clients receiving home care:

In the last year, professional home care services met my needs setting up my home so I could do things independently….

Clients could choose “Yes / Partly / No”

Professional home care staff make referrals to rehabilitation staff to assess clients for equipment needs, like bath chairs, mobility aides, bedside rails, bath lifts, and grab bars. Professional home care staff may also be responsible for making arrangements to deliver and organize or install requested equipment. Beyond equipment, professional home care staff do many other things to ensure clients can do things for themselves in their home. This can include things like:

  • Setting the height of a client’s bed to make it easier to get in and out of;
  • Making sure clients have the correct footwear;
  • Assessing fall risk and advising on the placement of area rugs;
  • Assisting with medication management (e.g., recommending blister packs or lock boxes);
  • Offering speech-language pathology (SLP) support, like completing a swallowing assessment; or
  • Unplugging the stove for clients with dementia.

Meeting these needs can help clients stay in their home as long and as safe as possible.

From the HQCA survey results, clients felt less positive about their overall experience when their needs were not met to their expectations or they had unmet service needs.

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 independence, related to home set-up. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • How can setting a client’s home up for them to be independent help deliver quality, person-centred, and safe care?
  • Are there needs that clients might have that professional home care staff may be unable to accommodate in this area? What are some innovative ways to overcome these challenges to better meet these needs?

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:
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Dimensions of Quality

  • Acceptability 
  • Accessibility 
  • Appropriateness 
  • Effectiveness 
  • Efficiency 
  • Safety