Flinders University research fellow Dr Claire Hutchinson has been awarded an inaugural Hal Kendig Research Development Grant to extend her work on measuring quality of life in aged care to multicultural communities.
The awards, presented last week at the Australian Association of Gerontology Conference in Sydney, aim to support the career development of early career researchers and to further the interests of vulnerable older people in advanced age.
Claire has received $20,000 over 18 months towards the Caring Futures Institute’s development of a suite of quality of life measures for recipients of aged care services – either residential care or home care.
The measurement tools, which are based on in-depth interviews with aged care recipients, will be used for quality assessments by providers as well as for future economic evaluations of aged care services, ensuring wellbeing is appropriately included as part of these analyses.
Claire said industry and government were eagerly awaiting her team’s aged-care-specific tool for economic evaluations to provide better evidence for balancing aged care costs and wellbeing benefits – with increased urgency since release of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality’s interim report.
“Until now, measurement tools have been developed overseas for the health care system and weren’t really applicable for the Australian aged care setting, plus few of them have actually included consumers from the beginning of their development,” Claire said.
“Winning this grant is an exciting opportunity to extend our quality of life work into culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities – important work which we wouldn’t have been able to do without this additional funding.”
Claire’s project steering group includes four industry partners, who will provide practical advice and help recruit relevant consumers for the study.
Claire will commence this research next year.
The Hal Kendig Research Development Program is made possible by Hal’s family’s extraordinarily generous donation of $730,000 to the AAG Research Trust following Hal’s passing last year.
Professor Hal Kendig was a leader and a powerful influence in shaping a national and international discourse on ageing, as well as a great advocate for the needs of older people. The grant program reflects Hal’s many outstanding contributions as well as his wish to continue to support early career researchers in their pursuit of research excellence.