The three projects at the heart of the funding are diverse, will focus on six priority areas, and will help the aged care system meet the challenges ahead.
The areas of focus include the development of technology to enable people with dementia from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to communicate easily, exploring how art centres in remote communities can link older Aboriginal people to services under consumer directed care, and trialling videoconferencing technology with interpreters for aged care.
Acting Director for NARI, Debra O’Connor, says the funding from the Department of Health and Ageing is very much welcomed by the organisation.
“We were very pleased with the success of all our applications which will enable us to address important questions and issues facing older people and services,” she says.
“The projects are at the cutting edge, and build on NARI’s strengths in supporting older people and services through research and give momentum for further creative and innovative research.”
With work on the projects now underway, NARI is ready to appoint new researchers to assist with the projects.
“This research brings different knowledge and perspectives to ageing,” Ms O’Connor says.
“NARI’s research focuses on the psycho social domains as well as clinical domains of ageing - translating research into practice is a key step to bringing research to the real and lived experience of older people.
“Successful outcomes can be replicated and translated to other sites and settings, informing policy and program development.”
Among the older Australians set to benefit from the government funded programs are those from a CALD background and Indigenous older people in remote communities in northern Australia.
“Improving communication between older people and their professional carers and clinicians as well as improving the ability of remote indigenous art centres to support older people in their community will improve the connection of older people to their services and communities,” Ms O’Connor says.
“The grants give us welcome capacity to deepen our understanding of the important research issues that NARI has been undertaking over the four decades of our existence.”
As part of the research projects, NARI will have the support of a number of partners including Curve Tomorrow Pty Ltd, Mercy Health, Flinders University, University of Western Australia, the NPY Womens Council, Mangaka Arts, Ikuntji Artists, Royal Freemasons, Curtin University and Kimberly Aged and Community Services.
“Working with partners and older people to achieve positive outcomes will be extremely important to us over the next two years,” Ms O’Connor says.
“We are committed to collaborating with other organisations across all our research as it is seen as an integral part of our approach - this approach is translational and aims to embed evidence in policy and practice.
“We work closely with health and aged care services, older people and clinicians to ensure research is relevant, effective and accessible.
“These projects will in turn provide the foundation for future research inquiry and advancement in the care and improved quality of life for older people.”
The funding for NARI’s projects came as part of a $34 million release of funding grants to support dementia and aged care services with a total of 42 projects receiving funding until 30 June 2019.