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Benetas to deliver frailty screening and support

Victorian aged care provider, Benetas, will undertake a significant new research project focused on identifying and mitigating frailty in older people.

Sandra Hills, Benetas chief executive, announced the organisation received $1.2 million to trial the federal government funded project.

The project will involve frailty screening in health and aged care assessment and establish resource pathways to empower older people to self manage their health and wellbeing.

Ms Hills says assessing frailty in older people and support to self manage risk are significant issues.

“This project will shed an important light on how we assess the health and wellbeing of older people and build greater support for self managed risk across a range of services and health professionals,” Ms Hills says.

“As people interact with our health and aged care system, they will be screened using predetermined criteria to assess their level of frailty and risk and then assisted to manage these factors through a range of partner services and resources.

“Importantly, Benetas will develop further supports for those identified with significant risk factors to help minimise these issues. In this way, this project will deliver positive impact to older people living in the community.”

According to Ms Hills, research tells us that frailty can be managed and, in some cases, mitigated to improve long term health risks.

“This project will develop resources and build partnerships to improve this aspect of preventative health.”

Benetas continues to promote better linkages in health and aged care as part of a full research agenda.

Benetas innovation, research and policy manager, Dr Amee Morgans (PhD) says the new project will build on research developed through the organisation’s Sub Acute Linkages in Later Years (SALLY) initiative.

“SALLY set the agenda in terms of Benetas’ approach to research and innovation,” Dr Morgans says.

“It identified key gaps in the interaction of health and aged care and showed we can improve linkages between these industries in the future,” she says.

“An important aspect of the frailty project is its collaborative approach to the screening and assessment process. Also, the decision to build partnerships and resources beyond the evaluation phase is a significant aspect and one which has been informed by evidence provided in past research.”

A key principle of Benetas’ innovation and research agenda is the undertaking of projects which align to a strategic focus of delivering meaningful outcomes for the aged care sector and the community it supports.

Benetas is committed to the translation of research to inform real impact change in the community and improve access to service and care of older people.

The project, Frailty in community dwelling older people – using frailty screening as the canary in the coal mine, received $1.2 million in funding from the Department of Social Services through its Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants.

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