Implications of Individual Budget In-home Care Models for Low-income Older Renters

Housing is fundamental to older people’s wellbeing, and people often wish to remain in their own homes as they age. Policies and programs regarding successful aging-in-place are premised on the fact that older people’s housing is stable and appropriate, as is effective delivery of in-home care. However, a growing number of older people are living in precarious housing, often leading to emotional and financial housing stress, and ill health. Home-based aged care delivery models such as individual budgets aim to deliver increased choice and control for consumers. They are often promoted by governments as a cost-effective way of meeting the increasing demand for in-home care. However, little attention has been paid to the consequences of such models for a growing group of older people - low-income renters. These renters often have less stable and appropriate housing and restricted rights to modify their accommodation. This paper draws on an Australian study that explored the delivery and receipt of individual budget style models of in-home care services to older renters. Low-income older renters and service providers of both housing and in-home aged care were engaged in interviews and focus groups. The renters reported positive and negative experiences with their housing and in-home care situations, across themes of autonomy and independence, accessibility and affordability, change and continuity, and security and isolation. Service providers expressed concerns about equity, sustainability, and suitability of in-home aged care and housing service assistance. These findings will be discussed, as will implications for welfare and financial policy and practice.

Public policy, In-home care, Community support, Welfare

Public Policy and Public Perspectives on Aging

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Victoria Cornell
    • Research and Evaluation Manager (Home Share), Business Development, ECH, Australia Australia
    • Victoria is the Research and Evaluation Manager (Home Share) at ECH, one of the largest integrated providers of retirement living accommodation and aged care services in South Australia. She is also a Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide. These roles, straddling both academic research and service-based research and development, give her a unique insight into translating research to action. Victoria is a social gerontologist, and her areas of research interest include in-home aged care service provision, community connectedness, the built environment and housing - especially alternative models of housing, and housing for vulnerable older people. Her research seeks to optimise outcomes for older people in the context of choice, independence, housing security, participation in community life and wellbeing; and improve older people's futures by ensuring their housing and aged care needs are met in tandem. Victoria's research and engagement in social gerontology has been recognised in several areas, for example journal articles, conference publications and media interviews. Victoria is a member of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), sits on the South Australian Divisional Committee of the AAG, and is the National Convenor of the AAG's Housing and the Built Environment Special Interest Group.