The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and leading in-home care provider, Silverchain, have received significant funding from Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA), to support the advancement of in-home care.

The ARIIA grant – which is focused on supporting projects in areas of urgent and critical need – will provide almost $150,000 to the Implementing Technology-Supported Home-Based Care for Older Australians project, which aims to innovate the delivery of home care in Australia. 

Over the last decade, the use of home care services in Australia has tripled, as more people receive the care they need to stay at home. Australia’s aged care system faces many challenges, including an ageing population and continuing workforce pressures. In the face of these challenges, the use of digital technologies to deliver care can transform the aged care sector and improve the experiences of older Australians receiving care in the home. 

Project lead, NARI Associate Professor Frances Batchelor, says integrating technology into the delivery of home care will help alleviate strain on the aged care workforce. 

“New thinking and solutions are required to bolster our aged care system. By adopting multidisciplinary methods for providing care, we can improve staff capacity and capability,” Associate Professor Batchelor said. 

“Technology isn’t a one-stop solution to the system’s problems, but it can be an incredible valuable tool for carers when combined with traditional approaches.”

Digitally-enabled care provides an opportunity to improve efficiency, enhance care prioritisation and ensure good care-coordination. It also delivers a range of benefits to aged care consumers, such as improved communication, reduced waiting time for services, and enables older people to have more control and input into their care.

Silverchain Director of Research Discovery, Professor Tanya Davison says that the use of technology to complement traditional face-to-face approaches offers enormous benefits to both home care providers and their clients. 

“This will provide older Australians with greater flexibility and choice, and transform the client experience,” Professor Davison said. 

“Many technologies are readily available. This research will help the aged care sector to understand how to effectively implement technologies into routine care.

“We are committed to digitally enabled care, and Silverchain’s dedicated community aged care teams will participate in the project, with researchers drawing expertise from the experience, education, skills and knowledge of our frontline workforce.”

Using co-design methods, NARI and Silverchain will identify the technological capacity of the aged care workforce to integrate technology into the care they provide in the home. 

“Thank you to ARIIA for funding this important work, and supporting this new and significant partnership between NARI and Silverchain to deliver the best quality care to older Australians,” Associate Professor Batchelor said.