Monash University in partnership with BlueCross has been awarded an ARIIA grant for their project ‘Sleep Coaches for Older Adults: Upskilling aged-care workers to deliver evidence-based feasible sleep interventions for aged-care residents’.
Sleep and circadian disruption are common in older adults and affect more than 70% of people living with dementia. These nighttime issues are associated with poor daytime outcomes, including greater severity of dementia symptoms, increased risk of falls and poorer health and well-being. Sleep disturbances vary in their presentation, which can be challenging for those who care for them.
Sleep interventions are much needed to improve overall wellbeing for older adults as well as reducing carer burden. To address this, our team has co-designed a multifaceted sleep intervention with community-dwelling carers and people living with dementia. This 6-week intervention uses a toolkit approach to upskill carers in different strategies, such as light, physical activity, cognitive behavioural therapy and relaxation techniques to manage sleep and circadian issues in people living with dementia. In the current proposal, we will develop our intervention into a co-designed training program with and for the aged-care workforce, to upskill them as “sleep coaches” to better manage sleep and circadian disturbances that occur in their residents.