Home care for people with a loss of autonomy must go beyond the organization of efficient services to become a project of society.
This is one of the important messages to emerge from an international literature review on leading home care models and programs. The authors under review advocate moving away from the existing vision of home care centred primarily on individuals with a loss of autonomy and their families, to include the community as a whole, and sustained efforts from the political class.
Home care for people with a loss of autonomy should be a project of society.
This new vision of home care goes beyond the sole preoccupation of providing the right service to the right person at the right time, to focus on the factors essential for promoting health and social participation. It promotes the integration of the efforts and skills of family caregivers and the public, community and private sectors.
A broader vision of home care obliges policy-makers and service providers to move beyond a diagnosis-based approach—which leads to a silo effect—to focus on the needs of people with a loss of autonomy and their family caregivers for assistance, care and quality of life.
The Government of Québec’s home support policy entitled “Chez soi: le premier choix” (Home care: the option of choice), adopted in 2003, emphasizes, among other things, coordination and quality of services, harmonization of practices, and collaboration between home care actors including family caregivers. The principles set forth in the policy hold promise for change. It is important to recall that future efforts will need to concentrate on their application.
Aline Vézina, Université Laval
Deposit of the research report: March 2011