One-quarter of the 400,000 Australians with dementia live in residential aged or home care settings. >90% have hearing/vision problems that are frequently undetected or un der corrected. Poor sensory function i)worsens quality of life, makes communication difficult and increases dependency; ii) increases likelihood of transition from independent living to residential aged care; iii) exacerbates the impact of dementia, increasing confusion and challenging behaviour. This leads to excess medication and increased cost of care. Hearing/vision care for people living with dementia (PwD) is a critical unmet need. Supporting sensory health is a practical cost-effective way to improve quality of life for PwD. We propose a ‘sensory support intervention’(SSI) involving: training aged care staff to detect sensory problems andcommunicate better; ensuring access to hearing/vision care; improving theenvironment.
We are using this approach for PwD in a Europe-wide study(www.sense-cog.eu). We will adapt, implement and evaluate the SSI forAustralian settings via
1. Co-designing SSI adaptation for Australian residential aged andhome care settings with PwD, care staff and hearing/vision professionals
2. Implementing the SSI & evaluating impact on quality oflife, functional ability, behaviour and cognition for PwD. We will explore SSIdelivery/acceptability to staff and PwD
3. Estimating the cost-effectiveness of the SSI
4. Co-producing with PwD, aged care and hearing/visionprofessionals, a roadmap for national roll-out and a sustainable health systemapproach to implementing the SSI
By adapting and implementing a holistic multidisciplinary SSI, weaim to improve care and support for PwD and reduce the impact of dementia onwellbeing and quality of life. We aim to achieve measurable improvements inconsistency and quality of sensory care, ensuring equitable and appropriateaccess to care, maximising impact from audiology/optometry services, and socialinclusion & engagement for PwD.
|Effective start/end date||1/07/22 → 31/05/24|