ARIIA Grants to help transform aged care in Australia

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

The ARIIA Grants will support high-quality projects that address important gaps in the aged care workforce’s capability and knowledge and lead to relevant translational research findings for the benefit of the aged care sector.

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

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

  1. SA Innovation Hub, Kalyra, Bene Aged Care, Barossa Village, Resthaven, Be Well Co, Flinders University and Council on the Ageing (South Australia), for their project to implement interventions to support the retention of female workers aged 50 years and over in the aged care workforce (Urgent and Critical Need).
  2. Aged Care & Housing Group, Dementia Training Australia, Queensland University of Technology and Flinders University, for their engagement matter project to support aged care frontline staff to engage meaningfully with people with dementia in a sustainable and effective way (Dementia Care).
  3. Helping Hand Aged Care Incorporated and the University of Notre Dame (Western Australia), for their project designed to retro-fit dementia-friendly environments and educate staff to become determinants of positive outcomes for people living with dementia in aged care (Dementia Care).
  4. Deakin University, SilVR Adventures and Villa Maria Catholic Homes Limited, for their project to implement an innovative virtual reality experience for people living with mild dementia in aged care (Dementia Care).
  5. National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Silverchain, for their project to implement technology-supported home-based care for older Australians (Urgent and Critical Need).

ARIIA Research Director, Professor Sue Gordon says that the ARIIA Grants will enable the recipients to undertake projects and make a significant difference in the identified priority areas in the aged care sector.

“We had a very high standard of applications, and I am looking forward to seeing how the recipients can translate their research outcomes into practical, real-world solutions with efficiency and immediacy that is previously unheard of.

“Historically, it takes about 17 years to translate research discovery and evidence into practice, and even then, only about 14% of research evidence is fully implemented and integrated.

“We cannot wait that long, so ARIIA Grant recipients must undertake their project over a twelve-month period, so we can see how the research discoveries translate into real work changes, in real-time.

“Collaboration is the heart of ARIIA’s activities, and we are grateful for the partnerships and funding we have received from the Australian and State Governments and Flinders University, to enable us to work with the aged care sector to make significant improvements.

“ARIIA Grants allow aged care providers and research organisations to partner with others and work together to deliver improvements in areas of need, and by making a co-contribution they have a firm commitment in their project.”

The ARIIA Grants Program consists of at least six rounds and is funded against the key sector priorities of focus for the aged care sector. Round 2 recipients will be announced soon, and Round 3 is currently open, and applications close 18 November 2022.