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Hebert CA, Trudeau SA, Sprinkle W, Moo LR, McConnell ES. Directed content analysis of Veterans Affairs policy documents: A strategy to guide implementation of a dementia home safety toolkit for Veterans to promote ageing in place. Health & Social Care in The Community. 2020 Jan 1; 28(1):182-194.
Older adults' preference to age in place, coupled with an increasing prevalence of dementia, creates an imperative to address home safety risks that occur due to cognitive impairment. Providing caregivers with home safety items and education can facilitate ageing in place for older adults living with dementia. In 2015-2017, we examined barriers and facilitators within 17 policy documents and dementia guidelines of the United States (US) Veterans Health Administration pertinent to implementation of a home safety toolkit (HST) for Veterans living with dementia. The documents were issued from 2000 to 2015. Directed qualitative content analysis of these documents guided by themes from stakeholder interviews revealed two key implementation barriers: a focus on physical rather than cognitive risks when determining medical necessity for home equipment, and a focus on rehabilitation and treatment rather than prevention. Mandates for person-centred care planning, including comprehensive assessment, interdisciplinary collaboration, staff education and a focus on population health in primary care facilitate HST implementation. Content analysis can identify policy-level barriers that slow innovation and facilitators that can increase access to care that support ageing in place.