Aging and aged care

The ARCH’s aging research addresses the challenges experienced by older people, healthcare providers and partners in community settings, hospitals and residential aged care. Dementia and multi-morbidity are a focus.

Austin Health ARCH

Health-promoting living conditions and person-centred care of older people

Contemporary trends in aged care policy focus on person-centred care and aging in place. There is, however, limited evidence on how person-centred care can be enacted in home care services and sheltered housing accommodation for older people.

The Umea Aging and Health Research Program (U-AGE) spans research projects employing controlled, cross-sectional and longitudinal designs in aging in place, sheltered housing and nursing homes.

The U-Age Home Care project uses a non-randomised controlled trial to evaluate person-centred home care services from the perspective of older people, family caregivers and home care service staff. It will determine whether person-centred home care services can result in better health, thriving, and satisfaction compared to traditional home care services.

The U-Age TryBio project uses a prospective case-control design to examine whether sheltered housing for older people facilitates people’s health, thriving and quality of life, compared to aging in place. A nationally representative sample of 5000 older people (>70 years) living in sheltered housing and aging in place has been initiated through national registers.

The U-Age Nursing Home project uses a multi-centre, non-equivalent controlled group before and after design with sites in Australia, Norway and Sweden. It will determine whether a person-centred care model for nursing homes can increase thriving for residents, satisfaction with care for relatives and job satisfaction for staff.

International common data elements in long-term care of older people

There are critical gaps in our empirical knowledge to support high quality, person-centred residential long-term care from a global perspective. Key to accomplishing this agenda is an ability to develop common data elements (CDE) that facilitate data sharing, quality and support common outcomes.

A consortium of researchers in medicine, nursing, behavioural and social sciences from 21 countries have established WE-THRIVE. This initiative supports development and consensus of CDEs in the domains of organisational context, workforce and staffing, person-centred care and care outcomes, and their application in research on personhood, wellbeing and quality of life for residents in long-term care.

Dementia-friendly book clubs

Participation in book clubs may help to improve quality of life, cognition and language for people living with dementia. This project uses a randomised controlled trial – encompassing groups of up to 12 people at 20 Bupa care homes in Australia and New Zealand – to investigate whether participation in dementia-friendly book groups is an effective psychosocial intervention.