Barriers to an effective voucher programme for community-based aged care: a professional perspective

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Long-term care for older people is increasingly turning to consumer-directed approaches. As a case in point, the Hong Kong Government recently implemented a new voucher programme for community-based aged care based on a consumer-directed approach: the Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly (CCSV). The objectives of this study were to explore the lived experience of professional workers vis-à-vis the new programme and to identify barriers to effective voucher use by older people in Hong Kong. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with 16 professionals who had primary responsibility for the voucher programme for community-based aged care. The interview guide covered five main areas: (a) professional's perception and experience on the voucher programme; (b) the decision-making process around the voucher programme; (c) personal capacities of older people; (d) family support and social networks; and (e) institutional support. Findings indicate several barriers to effective use of the CCSV including: lack of self-awareness of service needs, lower education level, poor health condition, lack of financial resources, lack of family support, inadequate family involvement in decision-making, lack of peer and professional support, lack of available services and poor service accessibility. Suggestions for strengthening the voucher programme include institution of a case management model and public education. Different factors or elements are required to facilitate older people to make sound and informed choices, and a case manager can assist in combining different resources and forms of support towards effective use of the CCSV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 May 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • ageing
  • case management
  • consumer-directed care
  • empowerment
  • decision-making
  • informed choice
  • long-term care
  • voucher


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