In this paper, a brief review of the relevant literature on aged care delivery models within the context of Australia, particularly Victoria and its regions will be provided. In the Australian community, as it was reported by Szebehely and Trydegård (2012), there is a growing focus on the aged. The government has sought to enhance the health and well-being of this particular group, given the range of health issues that continue to confront them. Some themes will inform the present review. These will include ethnic-specific services, mainstream services, cultural competence, and partnership model.
Over the last four and a half decades, Rashidi and Mihailidis (2013) revealed that people in Australia, and specifically in Victoria, have exhibited endless lobby efforts demanding the development of ethno-specific health services for the aged. These groups supposed that immigrant settlement ought to be founded on self-help, subsidised by the Victorian state through ESAs, which are run by the members of the focus group. As a result of these initiatives, an ethno-specific service model for the aged was instituted, and has continued to run even at the present times in Victoria. Several researchers have sought to investigate on the relevance of this model. According to Szebehely and Trydegård (2012), the elderly members of the aged Victorian community continue to use the ethno-specific service model.
The researchers found out that the model tends to provide the aged with the comfort they need when seeking care (Szebehely and Trydegård 2012). In another study by Ganda, et al. (2013), it was revealed that the aged feel that this model often provides the aged with an opportunity to express themselves better and that their needs are usually understood optimally. While this is the case, in another study by Szebehely and Trydegård (2012), it was revealed that an ethno-specific service model for the aged in Victoria is problematic given that other factors, which tends to determine the preferences of the aged and their care needs, are obscured.
The primary focus of researchers when addressing the mainstream service model for the aged has been on the relative benefits. According to Forbes, et al. (2013), the mainstream services for the aged are useful in linking the aged to the wider Victorian community. In another research by Rashidi and Mihailidis (2013), it was established that the model has the potential to provide the aged with long-term response to their ever changing needs. Besides, the researchers reported that with the mainstream services, it follows that the aged often experience a higher level of satisfaction.
However, these models have been found to be characterised with the potential to marginalise ethnic communities. According to the researcher, some aged persons have been marginalised due to their relatively insignificant numbers. Also, as the researcher found out, the mainstream service model has, at times, overlooked the needs of the aged in Victoria. Besides, Ganda, et al. (2013) revealed that if the aged participate in the processes of the healthcare system, there is usually a higher chance that they will be better served in this paradigm.
According to Rashidi and Mihailidis (2013), the various drawbacks of the mainstream service model for the aged in Victoria has resulted into the introduction of a framework, which is aimed at instituting a culturally competent care. The integration of cultural competence in the model have, in turn, given rise to improved access to health care among the aged, especially those at risk of specified disease in Victoria and the adjacent regions. Despite the case, according to Goodwin, Dixon, Anderson and Wodchis (2014), shortfalls are still being experienced.
The researcher revealed that the root cause of these issues was the absence of a universally agreed definition of cultural competence. Adding to this, the researcher claimed that, while the need for informing the cultural different services exists, aged people from ethnic groups have continually exhibited their frustrations not only with the essentialising but also the stereotypic tone of the various guidelines integrated into the mainstream service model. It has been revealed that in Victoria’s mainstream service models for the aged, cultural competence have to be addressed at diverse levels including individual, organisational, professional and systemic levels. This, according to Forbes, et al. (2013), is the only way that the mainstream service paradigm for the aged can be effective in Vitoria and its regions.
The gaps visible in the three models, all of which have been described above, prompted the introduction of the partnership model for aged care delivery. As such, as revealed by Pearson, et al. (2007), it was established that there was a need for cooperation and partnership between these three models. Several researchers have emphasised on the essence of such a move. According to Goodwin, Dixon, Anderson and Wodchis (2014), the partnership model is the only way to which the needs of a constantly changing dynamic aged population in Victoria can be realized.
The partnership model, according to the researcher, tends to value the contribution of all the other models. It balances the strengths of all the other models and thereby promoting an integrated care delivery system for the aged. Pearson, et al. (2007) supported this particular finding. He purported that the partnership care delivery model for the aged usually serve as a bridging framework. It often uses the strengths of one model to eliminate or to mitigate the shortcomings of another model and thereby to secure the best health services for the aged.
In the present paper, the role was to investigate on the care delivery models for the aged that have been instated in Victoria, Australia. It has been established that there are two conventional models, which include the ethno-specific and the mainstream models. It has been determined that each of these have their fair share of strengths. However, they too have several disadvantages. There have been several initiatives initiated to address these drawbacks, most prominently, cultural competence. However, the problems still prevailed. It was not until a partnered model of care delivery for the aged in Victoria was instituted that effective healthcare model for the aged Victorian community was introduced.
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