Perceptions of the psychological well-being and care of older home care clients: clients and their carers.
ABSTRACT To explore and compare older home care clients' (65+) and their professionals' perceptions of the clients' psychological well-being and care and to identify possible differences in these perceptions.
Psychological well-being is considered an important dimension of quality of life. With advancing age, older people require home care support to be able to remain in their own home. The main goal of care is to maximise their independence and quality of life.
Descriptive, survey design with questionnaire.
A postal questionnaire was distributed to 200 older home care clients and 570 social and health care professionals in 2007. The total response rate was 63%. The questionnaire consisted of questions about clients' psychological well-being and the provision of care by home care professionals. The differences in responses between clients and professionals were analysed using cross-tabulations, the Pearson Chi-Square Test and Fisher's Exact Tests.
The professional group believed that their clients did not have plans for the future. They believed that their clients felt themselves depressed and suffering from loneliness significantly more often than the client group did. The client group were also significantly more critical of the care (motivating independent actions, physical, psychological and social care) they got from the professional group than how the professionals evaluated the care they gave.
To be able to support older clients to continue living at home, professionals need to provide a service that meets client's own perceptions and complex social and health care needs as well as personal sense of well-being.
The findings offer useful insights for the professional in planning and delivering appropriate home care services. A better understanding of differences between clients' and professionals' perceptions could lead to a better individualised care outcome.