The shift to consumer-directed aged care means that older people need to play a more active role in navigating the system for adequate health and social services. However, navigating the system can be challenging and result in unmet needs and difficulty accessing available resources.

Institute members have carried out a recent scoping review that investigates how the aged care navigation concept is discussed in current literature and examines research on the experiences of older people navigating community-based aged care services with or without support from family carers. 

The review paper published in The Gerontologist is part of Ms Xie’s PhD project, "Navigating aged care services for older Australians and their families," funded by the UNSW Scientia PhD Scholarship. The project aims to understand the experiences and challenges of navigating aged care systems from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together researchers from Psychology, Geriatrics, Public Health, and Social Policy.  

"Country-specific and culturally appropriate research are needed to address structural-level factors, such as complicated and fragmented aged care systems, that influence the navigation experience of older adults. This is particularly important for distinct groups such as people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) or Indigenous backgrounds, and those living with dementia or cognitive impairment,” says Ms Xie. 

“We hope our findings will inform the development of future interventions and policies that address the challenges faced by older adults and their families in accessing Community-Based Aged Care Services."

Read the research publication here