Research - Helping Hand


Have a look at some of the research projects we are engaged in below. If you’d like more information, please email the team.

National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) research projects
NARI are leaders in ageing research in Australia with a focus on falls and balance, pain, dementia, physical activity, healthy ageing, psychosocial and mental health, and health systems evaluation. We are working with NARI on three research projects:
BEFRIENDAS – using trained volunteers to befriend residents living in residential aged care on a weekly basis. The aim is to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and decrease loneliness and social isolation.
PITCH – developing and evaluating a dementia-specific training program for home care workers which will be co-designed with people living with dementia, their family carers, home care workers, case managers and service managers.
PAW – volunteer-led behavioural activation program, designed to improve the wellbeing of people living in residential aged care, home care and retirement living.

A good life: developing a new quality of life instrument with older Australians
Starting at the end of 2018, this grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) is about creating a new decision support tool, focusing on quality of life, from the perspective of older Australians receiving aged care. Helping Hand is one of the major partners working with Professor Julie Ratcliffe from Flinders University.

Supported Decision Making for People Living with Dementia
Decision making, including advance care planning, can be challenging for people living with dementia. Supported decision making is a rights-based approach which focuses on helping a person with a cognitive impairment to make and communicate decisions regarding personal or legal matters. Helping Hand is part of a project funded by the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre to research community perceptions of supported decision making in the context of dementia. The project also includes developing education and practical resources for people living with dementia, carers and staff.

Simplification of Medication in Residential Aged Care
Through the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre, Monash University are trialling ways to simplify medication processes in residential aged care. Dr Janet Sluggett, an experienced pharmacist and researcher, is coordinating the project. Dr Sluggett is based at Helping Hand, with Helping Hand staff and residents also involved in the project.