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Innovation grants focus on improving indigenous home care

A first-of-its kind project exploring the role of remote community art centres in connecting Aboriginal people to aged care services and the development of a culturally sensitive home care service are among the community care projects to share in $34 million in government funding.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced 42 projects were successful in the latest Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund, which supports service innovation and research in aged care.

The fund targets six priority areas including adaptive technology, dementia, and support for indigenous Australians and older people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Among the successful applicants is the National Ageing Research Institute, which has received $1.2 million to investigate ways to integrate art centres in remote communities with the aged care service system.

The project aims to provide the government with a model that can be translated to approximately 90 art centres in remote community settings to help link older people to services.

This project is a partnership between NARI, Flinders University, University of Western Australia, the NPY Womens Council, Mangaka Arts, Ikuntji Artists and Kimberley Aged and Community Services.

CDC and Aboriginal communities

In the funding round results announced last week, aged care provider IRT picked up $1.4 million to research the effectiveness of consumer-directed home care packages in Aboriginal communities.

Together with Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community & Medical Services, IRT will co-design and pilot a new culturally sensitive home care service in Eurobodalla in the South Coast of NSW.

IRT at Home CEO Gy Wallace said the project aimed to improve older Aboriginal people’s access to government-funded home care and overcome barriers for this client group to benefitting from CDC.

Mr Wallace said IRT College will train a group of indigenous school leavers to staff the new home care service, thereby helping to create new job pathways into aged care.

Connecting the generations

Under the funding round, Griffith University also secured $643,000 to trial an intergenerational care model that would bring respite and child care together.

As part of the project, the university will trial two models of intergenerational care: a dual campus model where a respite day centre and a child care centre are housed on the same site and participants take part in shared activities for 1-2 hours per day, and a visiting campus model where people are transported to a multi-function room for joint activities 1-2 hours, twice a week.

Joint activities would also be guided by an educational curriculum where young and old would be encouraged to learn from each other. Read CCR’s previous coverage on the concept here.

Other successful projects include initiatives to improve the diagnosis of dementia among Aboriginal communities, boosting support for informal carers in rural Australia and a randomised controlled trial of the CSIRO’s Smarter Safer Homes platform.

The projects will be funded until 30 June 2019.

Read also: Innovation grants target personalised services

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