Older persons' perspectives on satisfaction with a mental health service and its impact on their recovery
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Consumer satisfaction with mental health services plays an important part in recovery from mental illness. Older consumers in particular need access to appropriate care and assistance, due to their often-compromised health status. It has been extensively reported that well-organised care enables a larger number of older consumers to return to the community as active members. To date, however, there has been little research in the area relating to older consumer satisfaction with mental health services in Australia. This small qualitative study reports the personal experiences of five older consumers residing in a rehabilitation-focused older persons' mental health service. The consumer participants revealed that whilst they rated the service quality as satisfactory in general, when more specifically probed they did not find it suitable in meeting their individual recovery goals. Their main areas of concern were: inability to move freely, finances being managed by a public trustee, repetitiveness of meals, and those meals were not cooked on site. This narrative study revealed a need for the mental health service to focus more on individualised and consumer-centred services; in particular a higher degree of flexibility, encouraging independence, increasing freedom of choice and allowing consumers to have a say in their care, recovery planning and social inclusion.
Journal of Social Inclusion
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