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Innovation grants target personalised care services

The development of a consumer directed residential care model and an interactive series of education programs on diversity are among 42 projects to share in $34 million in funding to support service innovation in aged and dementia care.

The Dementia and Aged Care Services Research and Innovation grants focus on six priority areas and will help the aged care system meet the challenges ahead, said Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt when announcing the successful applicants on Tuesday.

The funded projects are cutting-edge and will strengthen the capacity of the aged care sector to respond to consumer-directed care and the challenges of dementia, Mr Wyatt said.

Among the successful applicants is Royal Freemasons, which has received more than $1 million to produce a consumer-directed care model for residential care.

The Victorian aged care provider will implement an enhanced care program to support better outcomes for residents with dementia and their families in urban and regional facilities.

The project will be evaluated by the National Ageing Research Institute and aims to provide a platform for implementing CDC in residential facilities.

Fellow aged care provider Uniting NSW/ACT has secured $1 million to develop a digital educational program to support services targeting people from diverse backgrounds.

The project will develop an interactive series of programs that address inclusive care for the transgender person and culturally-appropriate palliative care for LGBTI communities, which will broadcast through the Aged Care Channel.

Supporting rural communities

A Flinders University project has picked up almost $1.5 million to identify the key drivers of personalised care interventions in rural and Aboriginal aged care facilities.

The research involves applying new methods to reduce agitation and minimise medications with a group of dementia clients in Queensland and South Australia and aims to inform a development of a national care planning and evaluation model.

The largest grant – almost $1.7 million – has gone to a La Trobe University project trialling three types of technology-based support for carers of people with dementia 12 rural communities across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

The Virtual Dementia Friendly Rural Community project will include the development and testing of online information hubs managed by volunteers, a service navigation and networking app and online video peer support groups.

The VERILY project will also develop a toolkit to develop a virtual dementia friendly rural community.

The six focus areas of the funding program are:

  • support for existing and emerging challenges in dementia
  • better support for services targeting people from diverse backgrounds
  • developments that support innovation in aged care
  • support for activities focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • capital support for activities focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • seed funding for adaptive technology projects to enable consumers to stay in their own home

The successful projects will be funded through to 30 June 2019.

See the Department of Health’s website here for more information.

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