One-quarter of the 400,000 Australians with dementia live in residential aged or home care settings. >90% have hearing and/or vision problems that are frequently undetected or under 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 and communicate better; ensuring access to hearing/vision care; improving the environment. We are using this approach for PwD in a Europe-wide study. We will adapt, implement and evaluate the SSI for Australian settings via 1. Co-designing SSI adaptation for Australian residential aged and home care settings with PwD, care staff and hearing/vision professionals 2. Implementing the SSI & evaluating impact on quality of life, functional ability, behaviour and cognition for PwD. We will explore SSI delivery/acceptability to staff and PwD 3. Estimating the cost-effectiveness of the SSI 4. Co-producing with PwD, aged care and hearing/vision professionals, a roadmap for national roll-out and a sustainable health system approach to implementing the SSI By adapting and implementing a holistic multidisciplinary SSI, we aim to improve care and support for PwD and reduce the impact of dementia on wellbeing and quality of life. We aim to achieve measurable improvements in consistency and quality of sensory care, ensuring equitable and appropriate access to care, maximising impact from audiology/optometry services, and social inclusion & engagement for PwD.
|Effective start/end date||1/01/22 → 31/12/24|
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