The experience of socially isolated older people in accessing and navigating the health care system

Greaves, Moira and Rogers-Clark, Cath (2009) The experience of socially isolated older people in accessing and navigating the health care system. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 27 (2). pp. 5-11. ISSN 0813-0531

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Objective: The article reports findings from a study exploring the challenges experienced by socially isolated and unwell older people as they attempted to access the health care system. Understanding the specific issues confronting these individuals would inform the development of more appropriate models of community-based aged care.

Design: A longitudinal qualitative, interpretive study using a case study approach with indepth interviewing.

Setting: This study was conducted in metropolitan Brisbane, with frail older people who were accessed via their GP service.

Participants: Six participants who met pre-determined selection criteria were recruited to this longitudinal study, and interviewed twice over a six month period.

Findings: Fear emerged as a common experience embracing aspects of daily life such as depletion of social networks, being dependent on others, loss of mobility and diminishing ability to drive. Inadequate or unreliable public transport resulted in extended waiting times to attend medical appointments.

Conclusions: Despite efforts to address the specific issues of frail older people living independently, this study highlights the suffering experienced by those who are socially isolated and lack the knowledge, skills, physical wellbeing and support to locate and access relevant health services.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2010 01:48
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 06:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: social isolation; older; aged; access health; medical services; aged care
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111001 Aged Care Nursing
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920206 Health Inequalities

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