What does client ‘engagement’ mean in aged care? An analysis of practice

Petriwskyj, Andrea, Gibson, Alexandra and Webby, Glenys (2017) What does client ‘engagement’ mean in aged care? An analysis of practice. Ageing and Society, 1-27. doi:10.1017/S0144686X17000095

Author Petriwskyj, Andrea
Gibson, Alexandra
Webby, Glenys
Title What does client ‘engagement’ mean in aged care? An analysis of practice
Journal name Ageing and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-1779
Publication date 2017-03-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X17000095
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 27
Total pages 27
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Abstract Client engagement is an important part of contemporary aged care. However, the extent to which decisions are delegated to the older person, and the scope of issues about which decision making occurs, vary. The types of engagement that are offered to, and taken up by, aged-care clients have implications for the extent of power and influence older people hold. This paper reports on a qualitative study conducted in a large Australian service provider. It identifies the forms that client engagement takes in the aged-care context, the roles for staff and older people that are enacted through these activities, and the implications these have for power relationships and older people's influence. An inverse relationship was seen between the depth and scope of client influence, but a desire to address this suggested potential spaces for greater empowerment. A relationship was evident between the retention of control by staff and the perceived effectiveness of existing engagement strategies, highlighting the limitations of traditional power dynamics in engagement practice. An expanded model of engagement in aged care is proposed that recognises the foundational role of connection building as a facilitator of greater empowerment for older people. Implications for theory regarding engagement in aged care, and the practice of engagement in aged-care organisations, are discussed.
Keyword Aged care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Created: Tue, 21 Mar 2017, 00:25:23 EST by Web Cron on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)