Carer Empowerment Programme (CEP) - The Cornerstone to Aging in Place

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Authors (including presenting author) :
Li KL, Ip WM, Choy PC, Wong WS, Yau CY, Lam KF, Chan YY, Lau M, Yue SY
Affiliation :
Department of Occupational Therapy, Shatin Hospital
Introduction :
The increased frailty, hospitalisation and dependency of elderly have stepped up the caregiver burden in home care. To correspond to the caregiver burden (Stone, 2017), CEP aims to prepare caregivers through learning of skills, knowledge and gaining commitment in caring elderly patients at home (Ziemba, 2002). CEP training content includes (1) Daily living handling skills (2) Assistive device usage (3) Complication prevention (4) Make use of community resources (5) Improvement of patient’s quality of life. Through better knowing & understanding of care needs, followed by active learning & practising of care techniques, caregivers were ultimately prepared and become more competent to support patients back in community, thus facilitating successful home-discharge & allow maximal opportunity of patients to remain aging in place.
Objectives :
(1) To improve caregiver’s preparedness and competence in taking patients home on discharge. (2) To enable elderly patients to remain aging in place.
Methodology :
Caregivers were invited by Occupational Therapists to a 4-hour programme, which was held on a biweekly basis. Pre and Post data were obtained in terms of caregiver’s preparedness and competence level. Individual caregiver’s needs and feedback would then be followed up by case therapist. A post 6-month telephone follow up was done to evaluate the CEP content sufficiency, techniques & home care sustainability.
Result & Outcome :
A total of 691 family units were enrolled into the CEP from Nov, 2015 to Dec, 2018. Result shows that there is a statistically significant improvement in caregiver’s preparedness (p< 0.001) and competence (p< 0.001) in providing home care to patients after CEP. 322 participants were successfully followed up through phone. 95% of caregivers expressed the content of CEP was sufficient in filling up the gap of care needs. 91% of caregivers have sustained the application of learnt techniques in home care, while 90% of discharged patients have continuously living in the community. To conclude, CEP is effective in enhancing caregiver’s preparedness and competence level, and become an increasingly indispensable component towards successful aging in place.

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