Community Connections: Re-Imagining Aged Care Services
Enrich Living Services commissioned the ACER team to evaluate the impact of their innovative social support program for older adults called “Community Connections”. The program is designed to shift the traditional, static nature of participatory home and community-based aged care services for older Australians, as well as induce a positive change in outcomes that matter to the older adult. We investigated client, staff and carer attitudes and perceptions of the program, measured client’s overall satisfaction with the outings using the Client Service Questionnaire (CSQ-8) and examined the relationship between program and social-related quality of life using the Adult Social Care Outcome Toolkit (ASCOT). Findings show that clients were satisfied with the program, carers were supported and provided with respite, and staff were engaged with the program. To date, Community Connections has provided hugely rewarding experiences for all involved, with noticeable changes in their quality of life after attending the program for six months.