ARIIA Grants to help make a positive difference in aged care in Australia

Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA) has announced the recipients of the Second Round of its Grants Program. 

The support provided by the ARIIA Grants will benefit the aged care sector through the development and translation of high-quality projects that address important gaps in the aged care workforce’s capability and knowledge.

Working in consultation with the sector, several topics have been identified as a priority for attention to improve aged care: Dementia Care; Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care; Mental Health & Wellbeing; Social Isolation; and Urgent & Critical Need.

 ARIIA Grants have been awarded to 11 projects that address the specific priorities: 

  1. Dossy Company, Uniting Agewell, University of Melbourne, and Two Bulls, for the Dossy Project – Community Connect, a unique video app that connects families and their loved ones in aged care in an intuitive, meaningful way (Social Isolation).
  2. The University of Sydney, Frank Widdon Masonic Homes of NSW, and Uniting Agewell, for their TOP UP Study project, aimed at improving mobility in aged care, by evaluating the effectiveness and acceptability of telehealth physiotherapy programs for mobility and falls in older people (Dementia, Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care, Urgent & Critical Need).
  3. The Violet Initiative, Hammond Care, Estia Health, and the University of Wollongong for the Violet Aged Care Industry Solution: a workforce development training program encompassing targeted consumer support to build the wellbeing and resilience of formal and informal caregivers of people in the last stage of life and reduce the social isolation for them and their families during this time (Social Isolation, Mental Health & Wellbeing).
  4. Hammond Care, the University of Sydney, and the University of Technology Sydney, for their high-quality palliative and end-of-life care education and training program for aged care staff to engender a culture of skilled and compassionate care for residents and their families (Dementia, Urgent & Critical Need).
  5. Flinders University, the Australian Nursing Home Foundation, Chinese Australian Services Society, and the Chinese Welfare Services of SA, for their project that optimises support for Chinese carers of people with dementia through a skills training program and the embedding of iSupport in routine aged care services (Dementia).
  6. The University of South Australia, Tanunda Lutheran Home, Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, and Healthy Care Services, for the ADEPT project, a digitally enabled pharmacist service to detect and manage medicine harms in residential aged care (Urgent & Critical Need).
  7. Dementia Australia, BUPA, and Deakin University, for their project that uses technology to transform workforce capability and capacity to improve the quality of care delivered to people living with dementia (Dementia, Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care, Urgent & Critical Need).
  8. Gretel Analytics, Peninsula Health, and Monash University for their development of a toolkit to build social license into the implementation of activity monitoring in residential aged care settings (Dementia, Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care, Social Isolation).
  9. Southern Cross Care, Bond University, and Robert Gordon University for their project that aims to enable better discharge pathways for older people to get back into the community following short-term restorative programs (Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care).
  10. The James Anthony Group, and Anglicare SA, for CareWindow, a video calling device that enables two-way audio communication between those in aged care and their families. (Dementia, Social Isolation, Mental Health & Wellbeing).
  11. Bay & Basin Community Resources, ExSitu, the University of Wollongong, and Carers NSW, for their development of a blueprint for values-based care plans that address the unique challenges faced by ageing people living within regional areas (Dementia, Rehabilitation, Reablement, & Restorative Care, Social Isolation, Mental Health & Wellbeing, Urgent & Critical Need).

ARIIA Research Director, Professor Sue Gordon says that the ARIIA Grants address community-based care and residential care priorities and will enable the recipients to work across Australia in urban and regional areas.

“Once again, the standard of applications was high, and I am pleased that a couple of the projects will be undertaken to make a significant difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Australian Chinese community.

ARIIA Grants enable aged care providers and research organisations to work together and partner with others to deliver improvements in areas of need, and as they must make a co-contribution to their project, they have a firm commitment to it.

“Furthermore, successful Grant recipients must undertake their project over twelve months, so we can see research discoveries being translated into real work benefits, in real-time.

“This is such a refreshing change, as historically, it takes around 17 years to translate research discovery and evidence into practice, and even then, only about 14% of research evidence is fully implemented and integrated.

“I look forward to seeing how the Grant recipient’s projects result in practical outcomes and real-world solutions with efficiency and immediacy that was previously unheard of. 

“To enable us to work with the aged care sector to make significant improvements, we are grateful for the partnerships and funding we have received from the Australian and State Governments and Flinders University.

The ARIIA Grants Program consists of at least six rounds funded against key sector priorities of focus for the aged care sector that are revised each grant round. Round 3 recipients will be announced soon, and Round 4 is currently open, with applications closing on 17 February 2023.