It seems that everything these days is personalised. Create your own burger, make your own playlist, watch what you want, when you want. People are less willing to adapt themselves to a one size fits all product.

The same goes for aged care and disability support – particularly when it’s home-based. Home-based care should be flexible and tailored to the individual.

Everyone seeking care has specific needs that must be considered. They shouldn’t be forced to settle for sub-standard or insufficient care that doesn’t fulfil their needs.

The future of home-based care and support is personalisation. Here’s why.

Control

Older Australians and people with disability are some of the most vulnerable members of society. They must feel comfortable with the people coming into their home.

If a new carer is coming into their home, they must be able to choose this person based on their needs, beliefs and circumstances.

The ability to select their own carer can help overcome fears associated with receiving necessary care by allowing choice and control. People know who to expect, which helps to ease nerves about receiving care or support from someone they don’t know.

Cultural difference 

The latest census showed that one-third of Australians are born overseas. We have a culturally diverse society.

It’s important that we account for cultural diversity in our care and support, and be respectful and mindful of varied cultural beliefs and practices.

Accounting for these cultural differences ensures that people in need of care continue to feel valued.

For aged or disabled people with cultural sensitivities, the chosen carer should have an understanding of the care required. Ideally, a carer could be selected who is of the same cultural background. This is particularly important in cultures where family is expected to be the main care-givers.

The best way to achieve this is to allow people to select their own carers, where the carer’s cultural background is able to be viewed.

Language barriers

The 2016 census showed that 47% of migrants between 65-74 and 51% of migrants between 75-84 are not proficient in English.

Communication is highly important in the relationship between a carer and client. People who do not have English as their first language may prefer their carer to speak their native language. This ensures that needs are met in the best possible way.

Personalisation allows clients to select carers who speak their language. This can make the client more comfortable, and also be very rewarding for the carer.

Personalisation of care increases safety, improves the quality of life for care-seekers, and improves the quality of care provided.

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