Prolonged Wait Time Prior to Entry to Home Care Packages Increases the Risk of Mortality and Transition to Permanent Residential Aged Care Services: Findings from the Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA)

Renuka Visvanathan, Azmeraw Amare, S. Wesselingh, R. Hearn, S. McKechnie, J. Mussared, M. C. Inacio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Older Australians prefer to live in their own homes for longer and reforms have attempted to increase the volume of home care packages (HCPs) accordingly but there remains a queue with the longer-term consequences unclear. Objectives: This study aims to characterise older Australians according to their wait times for a home care package (HCP), evaluate the association between wait time and mortality and evaluate the association between wait time and transition to permanent residential aged care services after HCP. Design: A retrospective cohort study using data from the National Historical cohort (2003-2014) of the Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA) was conducted. Setting: Home based aged care services, national cohort. Methods: Wait time was estimated from approval date to date of receiving a HCP. Descriptive, survival estimates (95% confidence intervals (CIs)), and multivariable survival analyses (Cox-regression) were conducted to evaluate the risk of mortality and transition to permanent residential aged care services by quartiles of wait time for HCP. Results: The cohort was followed for 4.0 years (interquartile range IQR (1.8-7.2)) and 38% were alive at the end of the study period with a median wait time for HCP of 62 (21-187) days. From 178,924 older people who received a HCP during the study period (2003-2013), 33.2% people received HCP within 30 days, 74.3% within 6 months and 25.7% after 6 months. The effect of wait time on risk of mortality was time-dependent, with longer wait times associated with higher mortality in the longer term. Compared to people who waited ≤30 days for a HCP, individuals who waited more than 6 months had an almost 20% excess risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 95%CI = (1.18, 1.16-1.21)) 2 years after entry into a HCP. Those who waited more than 6 months also had a 10% (1.10, 1.06-1.13) higher risk of transition to permanent residential aged care services after two years. Conclusion: Prolonged wait times for HCP is associated with a higher risk of long-term mortality as well as transition to permanent residential aged care. It remains to be seen if a shortening of this wait time translates into better health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Healthy ageing
  • aged care
  • mortality
  • nursing home
  • wait time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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