Tag Archive for: aged care

Aged Care – A Critical Analysis

We have seen an exponential increase in the number of elderly in proportion to the total population over the past decades. However, people aged 65 and over are not as healthy in old age as projected considering our prosperity, according to recent findings of an international study done by BDO in cooperation with the OECD.

Additionally, elderly and healthcare costs are continuously increasing especially due to an international increase in comorbidity (two or more illnesses are present in the same person simultaneously) among those aged 65 and over, placing a heavy social and economic burden on future generations.

Average medical expenses for a person aged 85 and over amount to over AUD$79,200 per year (BDO); an alarming amount considering that this group is expected to exceed 25% by 2050 worldwide.

Furthermore, due to high educational requirements, the demand for health care professionals far outstrips the supply. What’s more is, many lower-skilled health care professionals were made redundant in the last years, due to unnecessarily high requirements.

Analysing national differences in their approach to aged care revealed extraordinary insights in BDO’s recent international study.

Even though all examined countries were faced with tremendous demographic challenges, the study found that not only differences in health care models and funding seemed to impact the health of the elderly, but lifestyle and habits too. In Norway, for example, people are healthier for a significantly longer period of time due to an outdoor lifestyle, a ‘culture of caring’, with families taking care of each other and the elderly taking an active and meaningful part in society

Furthermore, smokers made up only 4% of the population, whereas in Germany, where elderly (on average) only have 8 healthy years over 65, 20% of the population smoked.

A different approach to evaluating return on investment (ROI) in the Netherlands is showing positive results. The country seeks to shift their focus away from the disabilities of patients and further towards their abilities.

BDO concluded that current healthcare systems focus on curing the sick rather than preventing sickness and does not deal with the root of the problem.

To achieve a more affordable, more effective and sustainable aged care system we need to:

  1. focus on innovation, prevention and rehabilitation;
  2. target funding to boost innovation;
  3. lower educational barriers for health care professionals;
  4. develop technical innovations;
  5. encourage and support big-scale lifestyle changes;
  6. invest in methods, solutions and processes that ensure people age differently;
  7. seeking greater dialogue with the elderly to identify areas of improvement;
  8. evaluate ROI;
  9. acknowledge lack of difference between private and public healthcare systems; and
  10. give the elderly a place and purpose in our society.

Source: https://www.bdo.com.au/en-au/insights/healthcare/publications/new-perspectives-on-elderly-care

Market Research + Aged Care

The power of research is so often undervalued.  Take one of our current clients in aged care – we are privileged to be working with an organisation which delivers care to some of the most vulnerable in our society – our elderly seniors.

This client clearly understands the importance of research to make sure they remain true to their core values of providing care with dignity and respect, whilst undergoing significant structural change to meet the needs of the modern world. We are continually working with senior management to provide them with relevant and timely information to make the necessary changes both within the organisation and externally.

Working with staff and understanding what is important to them, whilst delivering the care which residents expect, at the same time underpinning this with a community interface which projects the best of their ‘brand’ requires significant and accurate information for all levels of the organisation which we are proud to deliver.

Market research is important at all levels of an organisation: from the boardroom, managers, and employees through to the clients that they serve. By engaging at all levels in our client’s organisation, we have been able to draw insights and paint a picture that will underpin their decision making process looking forward; whether that means re-mapping workflows, streamlining service delivery processes or educating employees on the importance of organisational culture.

Ultimately, it means they are in a better position to provide their vulnerable clients with improved, personable and more efficient services through the power of market research.

Understand what your customers are trying to tell you and make a change for the better.
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