New Flinders projects in aged care

Two more Flinders University College of Nursing and Health Sciences research projects have received funding from the Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA).

The grants, announced at this month’s Facing the Future: Aged Care 2030 and Beyond conference, will include Flinders University researchers collaborating with the Barossa Hills Fleurieu local health network to embed a palliative care link nurse into residential aged care.

“This project leverages the evidence from the acute care experience to tackle some challenges in delivering good palliative and end-of-life care in residential aged care facilities throughout regional South Australia,” says ARIIA research director, Flinders University’s Professor Sue Gordon.

The other grant issued to Flinders University and Uniting Communities SA will be used to implement a program to reduce the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care.

Professor Sue Gordon

“This project seeks to address the problem of the overuse of restrictive practices in residential aged care settings by implementing a program of interventions to develop the skills of aged care staff to provide better day-to-day care of people with complex needs,” Professor Gordon says.

It will adapt and implement the Safewards program, which is an evidence-based model that has been tested in psychiatric settings.

Federally-funded ARIIA has now awarded 41 grants across four rounds from more than 150 applications.

“ARIIA has invested more than $6 million so far in grants for the aged care sector, but with the in-kind and co-contributions, it’s nearly $11 million that’s gone into the aged care sector for those translational research projects that we think can really make a difference,” adds Professor Gordon.

Bolton Clarke, As well, the grant scheme has funded Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health and Bolton Clarke for a project called Enabling Choices to develop a risk negotiation tool for frontline staff to collaborate with people living with dementia.

Professor Karen Reynolds, who has led the MDPP and Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders University for 15 years.

Meanwhile, ARIIA is also collaborating with the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), based at Flinders University’s Tonsley campus, to establish the ARIIA x MDPP Ideas Incubator.

This exciting new program aims to support early-stage ideas for product or technology innovations for the Aged Care sector, says Flinders University Professor Karen Reynolds, who leads both the MDPP and ARIIA’s Aged Care Partnering Program.

“The aim of the program is to support people and organisations who have ideas for new technologies that may provide benefits to aged care and to those people within the ageing system,” says Professor Reynolds. “It’s based on 15 years of success running a similar program within the medical device partnering program.”

A successful applicant will receive 280 hours of support from experts – comprising 250 hours for technical work and 30 hours for commercial work.

Professional technical support covers areas such as proof-of-concept research, prototyping, product validation or co-design and trial, along with a market opportunity report and providing connections to aged care providers, end-users, potential manufacturers and commercial partners.

Applications are now open to find out more. MedTech Mondays will also host an online panel focussed on the ARIIA x MDPP Ideas Incubator on Monday 29 May. Please register here to attend.

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