Prepared by April Ferrino, August 2013
with funding from the sponsors of the Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowships in Public Policy
April Ferrino is a Policy Analyst at the Texas Legislative Budget Board in Austin. She is an analyst with the Agency Performance Review team who researches policy issues related to the healthcare of older adults and persons with intellectual and development disabilities, health insurance and children’s foster care.
April has 16 years of public service employment in state government. She has a Bachelor of Science in Radio, Television and Film and a Master of Science in Social Work both from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed master social worker and a certified mediator.
During April’s Ian Axford Fellowship exchange to New Zealand she was based at the Ministry of Health, where she researched how the quality of care in rest homes can be improved through regulatory processes.
The need for long-term care services and supports for older adults is immediate and overdue in many countries. With individuals’ increasing longevity comes the need for long-term care services and supports to assist persons to maintain the ability to perform daily activities and routines.
Despite the vast differences in the New Zealand and US regulatory systems for age-related residential care, each country continues to grapple with quality of care issues. One country’s system is not superior to the other. Each has its own characteristics stemming from their respective country’s origins and development.
Society’s concept of what high quality aged residential care is continues to evolve. In the US, data collection is the cornerstone of its aged residential care quality improvement processes. With the introduction of the international Resident Assessment into age-related residential care, New Zealand is at the beginning of its initiative to establish how data will be used to inform regulatory and policy decisions about improving the quality of care.
This report: (1) provides a brief overview of the New Zealand and US long-term care systems with a focus on aged residential care, (2) discusses age-related care regulation: its models, influences, and significant regulatory reform efforts, (3) describes quality improvement efforts in New Zealand and the US, (4) provides ten recommendations how New Zealand can support quality improvement efforts in age-related residential care, and (5) identifies three critical issues the New Zealand government should closely monitor because of their potential to profoundly impact the older adult population.
The ten recommendations are grouped into four themes to address gaps and strengthen current efforts to support quality improvement efforts. They are:
Appendix: Person-Centred Principles Inventory
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