Long-term care of people below age 65 with severe acquired brain injury: appropriateness of aged care facilities.
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Objective: To identify the number of people younger than 65 years with acquired brain injury (ABI) living in aged care facilities in Queensland, and to evaluate the appropriateness of this accommodation option. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of all 493 Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care registered aged care facilities in Queensland. Associations between a range of demographic factors, resources, care provision and client needs were examined, from the perspective of service providers. Results: The response rate was 75%. Twenty-six per cent of facilities (n=97) were providing care for 209 people younger than 65 years with ABI. The social, cognitive and rehabilitation aspects of client care were found to be inadequate in facilities where staffing levels, training and funding resources were limited (p<0.05). Smaller facilities (<60 beds) reported higher levels of family participation in specific aspects of client care (p<0.05). Almost 40% of the facilities indicated they did not adequately meet the specific and complex rehabilitation needs of these clients. Aged care facilities were the least favoured model of care for this client group (8%) compared with the most favoured model of small group homes (46%). Conclusions: The current use of aged care facilities for housing younger people with high-level care needs resulting from ABI is inappropriate and does not meet client needs.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health