Research paves the way for better care

    Research is fundamental to acquiring knowledge, which can be applied in new and innovative ways for the benefit of service delivery, staff and volunteers, and in improving outcomes for our clients.

    Through participating in research projects, either led by Churches of Christ Care staff, university students, or in partnership with other organisations, we can contribute to finding out ways to make the future better and brighter.

    Two research projects currently taking place in our aged care services are examining very different elements of how life can be made better for people living in aged care, as well as staff and families.

    For many, it is a difficult transition into aged care. They leave behind their homes and what is familiar. Many new residents bring with them artefacts and photos to decorate their room. Tricia King is a PhD candidate from Queensland University of Technology who is currently conducting a research project at a number of Churches of Christ Care aged care services. As part of her research, Tricia is examining how these artefacts help resident’s wellbeing through the transition.

    “Photographs, in their most elementary form, are reflections of the past that are positioned for the future,” Tricia said.

    “Surrounding oneself with images invokes meditative recall that invites retrospection of lived experiences…as we move through different phases of our lives we read the images under changing circumstances.”

    Tricia embedded herself in aged care services to examine how displayed photographs could assist in the wellbeing of residents during the transition from home to aged care.

    The project builds on previous research, which revealed the relationship residents had with photographs and other artefacts in their rooms, which they used as a way to connect and share their stories.

    Another research project currently underway at two aged care services in Toowoomba is exploring hearing loss in people living with dementia.

    Anthea Bott from The University of Queensland, is looking at the prevalence of hearing impairment in people living in aged care with dementia.

    It can be difficult to accurately test the hearing levels of people living with dementia due to communication challenges.

    This research will test two different techniques for measuring hearing, as well as assessing the communication needs of people living with dementia in aged care who have hearing loss. Through understanding these needs, it is hoped staff in our aged care services, will be better able to communicate with residents, which will in-turn, improve their wellbeing.

    A research project is currently being planned to rigorously evaluate the impact of the innovative Virtual Dementia Tour which is being rolled-out across our services.

    Posted October 19, 2017 in Seniors blog