When we have input into a decision, we feel pride in – and support – the outcome.
Older people know what is best for their own health and well-being. Providers that lead excellence in care involve the older person, their families and loved-ones in the decision-making processes. They help them to care for themselves to the greatest extent possible.
Family and friends not only know that their loved one is being cared for, but that they are being cared for in exactly the way that they want to be cared for.
We are all aware that, in July, the government introduced a model for Consumer Directed Care (CDC). This initiative signals the desire of the government to empower the older person to have greater decision making power over their quality of life, health and well-being. At every point along the research, service and accommodation design, delivery and measurement process we need to address this.
Traditionally, a service organisation has provided a particular solution for the client. The problem is identified and the organisation deploys its assets, resources and skills to provide a solution for or to the client. Greater levels of communication and engagement enable the organisation to better understand the predicament facing clients and tailor a solution to meet their needs.
If we introduce the notions and practice of co-creation and co-design in aged care we can go even further. And, in the process, differentiate services and organisations while developing services that are likely to succeed on market entry and into the future. That means certainty over revenue and growth.
The fundamental aspects of co-creation and co-design
As defined by the Centre for Social Impact, the terms co-creation and co-design can be defined in the following way:
- Co-creation: The systematic process of creating new solutions with people not for them; involving citizens and communities in policy and service development
- Co-design: The process of designing with people that will use or deliver a product or service
Broadly, co-creation and co-design involves the working together with the client to help the client reach a solution to the problem through collaborative, cooperative and community-centered approaches. The organisation empowers the client through the provision of assets, skills, resources and more, which the client can use to address the issues they face.
Involving the client in the decision making process leads to higher levels of participation, belonging, trust and enables the organisation to provide innovative services, ultimately leading to business returns and greater social impact.
Join us at the LASA National Congress for the Breakfast Session: “Unleashing innovation in the CDC era – Redefining community partnerships to co-create services, grow revenue and improve outcomes in a CDC market”
Co-creating aged care
Co-creation in aged care is connecting local councils, community leaders and aged care experts in setting a vision for aged care for community. In our experience it is a inspiring, rewarding and unifying experience, in which aged care providers are able to apply their experience and expertise across the full spectrum of ageing considerations.
Not-for-profit or private provider, it recasts the relationship with community and overcomes the ‘keypad factor’ in residential aged care where thinking and outcomes are locked from view behind a security door.
Co-creation encourages family members to work with residents at a peer-to-peer level to come forward with ideas for improving aspects of services, communication and, potentially, building design.
Once areas in which value can be created have been define, the process continues to tailor existing and create new fee-for-service options or better funded services for a specific community.
At an employee level, co-creation is building staff competencies across disciplines and facilitating employee forums to identify community needs and scope service options.
Before entering into co-design initiatives, or facilitating, developing or designing and executing initiatives, the organisation needs to understand the extent of its competencies, assets and mission or purpose in order to provide a framework for design activities. There needs to be an acknowledgement that, although all ideas can be considered, there are clear and communicated constraints for what can be implemented.
Ultimately, using co-creation and co-design principles, you create a market for new services as you design them, reducing risk of failure and establishing clear differentiation between your organisation and competitors.
Marketing becomes less ‘what we can offer you’ and much more ‘look what we have created together’.