Person Centred Active Support (PCAS) is a care practice that enables individuals in lifetime care to exercise choice and control over their daily lives, irrespective of their physical or cognitive disability. Researchers are currently trialling PCAS to see if it can help improve quality of life for TAC claimants.

Through the Residential Independence PtyLtd (RIPL) trust, TAC has invested in new, innovative Shared Supported Accommodation (SSA) to help improve quality of life outcomes for TAC clients requiring this kind of lifetime care.

Research has shown, however, that while it is important, the design and build of accommodation does not alone guarantee strong qualityof life outcomes for its residents.

These outcomes are also significantly influenced by the nature and quality of support provided on a daily basis by frontline staff.

There has been some concern that staff in the new RIPL facilities will be at risk of adopting traditional models of care that do not empower residents and will thus undermine the objectives of the innovative accommodation.

The PCAS model of care provides staff with the assistance necessary for them to enable residents to independently control their daily lives.

The clients are able to participate in meaningful activities and relationships on their own terms, allowing for significant improvement in their quality of life.

A secondary benefit of the PCAS model is that it has previously been seen to reduce the instances of residents with cognitive and behavioural impairments displaying "challenging behaviour."

Currently, a research project is underway under the leadership of Christine Bigby from La Trobe University to trial the PCAS model in three SSA across Victoria.

These trials will allow the research team to evaluate the effectiveness of PCAS, and to identify the best way to manage its implementation in the future.

Status

This research is ongoing. Watch this space forupdates.