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Impact of Prior Home Care on Length of Stay in Residential Care for Australians With Dementia

Published:January 31, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2019.11.023

      Abstract

      Objectives

      To assess the impact of home care on length-of-stay within residential care.

      Design

      A retrospective observational data-linkage study.

      Setting and Participants

      In total there were 3151 participants from the 45 and Up Study in New South Wales, Australia with dementia who entered residential care between 2010 and 2014.

      Methods

      Survey data collected from 2006‒2009 were linked to administrative data for 2006‒2016. The highest level of home care a person accessed prior to residential care was defined as no home care, home support, low-level home care, and high-level home care. Multinomial logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards were used to investigate differences in activities of daily living, behavioral, and complex healthcare scales at entering residential care; and length-of-stay in residential care.

      Results

      People with prior high-level home care entered residential care needing higher assistance compared with the no home care group: activities of daily living [odds ratio (OR) 3.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.14‒5.44], behavior (OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.69‒4.03), and complex healthcare (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.06‒3.84). They had a higher death rate, meaning shorter length-of-stay in residential care (<2 years after entry: hazard ratio 1.12; 95% CI 0.89‒1.42; 2-4 years: hazard ratio 1.49; 95% CI 1.01‒2.21). Those using low-level home care were less likely to enter residential care needing high assistance compared to the no home care group (activities of daily living: OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.45‒0.81; behavioral: OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.54‒0.95; complex healthcare: OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.33‒0.77). There was no difference between the home support and no home care groups.

      Conclusions

      High-level home care prior to residential care may help those with dementia stay at home for longer, but the low-level care group entered residential care at low assistance levels, possibly signaling lack of informal care and barriers in accessing higher-level home care.

      Implications

      Better transition options from low-level home care, including more timely availability of high-level care packages, may help people with dementia remain at home longer.

      Keywords

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