Wednesday 15 September 2021

Media Release

The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) has received two funding grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The NHMRC’s latest round of grants, announced this week by the Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP, included a combined total of almost $1.7 million for two of NARI’s projects – CultureCare and IMPART.

The CultureCare project, led by Dr Josefine Antoniades, a social gerontology research fellow at NARI, will see the co-design of a culturally appropriate decision aid to empower older people and their families from South Asian backgrounds to make informed decisions about aged care services.

This program of work seeks to develop a decision aid to empower older people and their families from South Asian backgrounds to plan, navigate, and appraise aged care services to ensure they meet the needs of the older person.

“Providing greater resources and support to CALD communities is critical to ensuring everyone in Australia is able to access the care they need as they age,” Dr Antoniades said.

“Developing a tool to help older people from South Asian backgrounds – and potentially other communities in the future – will ensure everyone is better able to make an informed decision about their care.”

The IMPART (IMproving PAlliative care in Residential aged care using Telehealth) project, part of the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC), is led by Professor Kwang Lim. It aims to improve palliative care in residential aged care using telehealth. This was MARC’s first successful NHMRC application.

“Sixty thousand Australians die every year in residential aged care facilities, but the quality of their end-of-life care varies,” Professor Lim said.

“Through the IMPART program, we provide training and palliative-geriatric support to aged care staff and GPs to enable timely end-of-life discussions, improve documentation of care preferences, reduce avoidable hospitalisation and improve residents' quality of care at the end of life.”

NARI Executive Director, Professor Briony Dow, says the NHMRC grants confirm these projects have real potential to improve outcomes for older Australians.

“As the national leader in ageing research, we produce evidence, tools and resources designed to improve health and aged care systems, and inspire best practice public policy in the health and aged care sector,” Professor Dow said.

“Thank you to Minister Hunt and the National Health and Medical Research Council for funding our important work so we can continue to deliver better outcomes for older Australians.”

Media enquiries: Evelyn Ek – 0412 887 853