Supporting Older Adults to Access Healthcare Services to Enable Them to Age-in-place: A Literature Review

Chikerema, Patricia
Thaggard, Sandra
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

The world is experiencing unprecedented growth among older adults (World Health Organisation (WHO), 2005). New Zealand is also seeing an increase in older adults. New Zealand government policy favours the notion that older adults “age-in-place”, that is, in their own homes or communities opposed to being institutionalised if possible (Ministry of Health (MOH), 2006). However, this population is experiencing a myriad of barriers that impact their health which in turn affects their ability to age-in-place. How healthy older adults are and the accessibility of the healthcare services determines whether ageing-in-place is possible or not. Evidence has suggested that older adults have the greatest health needs due to functional ability as well as chronic conditions becoming prevalent (Black, 2008). This means they will use healthcare services more but due to barriers accessing the services, less utilisation of such happens. Services that support older adults to age-in-place are available in most countries but there are barriers to accessing them. This literature review aims to uncover what is already known about the barriers faced by older adults, as well as expanding the understanding and knowledge of the barriers to accessing healthcare services. Any gaps in the information available will be uncovered and recommendations for practice in New Zealand will be made.

Barriers , Access , Age-in-place , Healthcare
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