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Comparison of People With ABI Living in Two Accommodation Settings: Shared Supported Accommodation and Residential Aged Care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Dianne Winkler*
Monash University and the Summer Foundation, Melbourne, Australia.
Louise Farnworth
Department of Occupational Therapy, Monash University Frankston, Australia.
Sue Sloan
Osborn, Sloan & Associates, Melbourne, Australia.
Ted Brown
Department of Occupational Therapy, Monash University Frankston, Australia.
Libby Callaway
Department of Occupational Therapy, Monash University Frankston, Australia.
*Address for correspondence: Dianne Winkler, PO Box 208, Blackburn VIC 3130, Australia.
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Background: People with severe acquired brain injury (ABI) often require high and ongoing levels of paid support, which is sometimes provided within a shared supported accommodation service (SSA). In Victoria there are more than 140 people with severe ABI living in shared supported accommodation services who have a similar level of disability as young people with ABI in residential aged care (RAC). Objectives: The aims of this article are twofold: (1) to describe the characteristics, support needs and level of community inclusion of people with an ABI living in shared SSA in Victoria and (2) to compare the characteristics, support needs, social contact, community integration and leisure participation of this group with a group of people with ABI under 50 years old living in RAC reported in a previous study. Participants: Information was obtained from SSA managers on 128 residents with an ABI, aged under 60 years, who were living in shared supported accommodation. Measures: Questionnaires were used to obtain information about the characteristics, support needs and occupational participation of participants. Support needs were measured utilising the Care and Needs Scale (CANS). Method: Questionnaires were sent to and completed by SSA managers. Results: Of the 39 SSA managers contacted, 32 provided information about the characteristics of 128 residents with ABI living in their facilities. While 72% of SSA residents accessed the community almost everyday or more often, 40% of this sample received a visit from a friend less often than once per year. Results of the CANS indicated that the SSA group required a similar level of support to the comparison group of people with ABI living in RAC, but went outside, participated in community based leisure activities, and visited friends significantly more often. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the frequency of visits to the facility from relatives or friends. Conclusion: Although the relationship between client outcomes and accommodation is a complex one, this study suggests that the type of accommodation and support has a significant impact on the frequency of community participation experienced people with ABI and high care needs.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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