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Making choices: How older people living in independent living units decide to enter the acute care system

Authors

  • Julianne Cheek DipEd BEd PhD,

    1. Professor, Division of Health Science, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Alison Ballantyne RN BEd MEdAdmin GerNursCert FRCNA,

    1. Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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  • Gerda Roder-Allen RN ProfCertMgmt,

    1. Chief Executive Officer, Country Home Advocacy Project, Nuriootpa, South Australia, Australia
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  • Jacqueline Jones RN BNsg GradDipNsg(Acute Care) A&ECert PhD FRCNA

    1. Senior Lecturer (Professional Services), Australian Nursing Federation (SA branch), South Australia, Australia
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Julianne Cheek, Division of Health Science, University of South Australia, City East Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. Email: julianne.cheek@unisa.edu.au

Abstract

Older people living in independent living units make choices about where they live and the degree of support required to maximize their health and well-being. This can include when to enter the acute care system. Using a multimethod, multistage qualitative approach, this study aims to explore and describe the decision-making process of older people living in independent living units to enter the acute care system. Based on the findings, recommendations are provided which can ensure that older people do not enter acute care facilities until they need to, or if they do need to, they can access the care they require and leave with the best possible chance of not re-entering unnecessarily. The findings highlight that it is not enough to focus on the older person at the point of entry into the acute care system so the recommendations aim to assist in the development of best-practice initiatives for older people living in independent living units.

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