Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC)

Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration

The Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC) is a unique collaboration of health, research, aged care and advocacy organisations working together to improve the lives of older people.

Our vision is that older people received the best possible care and support through services, programs and policies which support health and optimal quality of life.

Logos of MARC partner organisations


Accessing outdoor spaces involving nature and staying physically active benefit physical and mental health and wellbeing. The benefits of accessing outdoor spaces and greenery for residents of Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) has been widely explored with a particular focus on interventions involving gardening and inclusion of people living with dementia. These studies report various benefits such as reductions in depression, stress, falls and vitamin D deficiency. For people living in RACF, there can be barriers to accessing outdoor spaces. The most common barriers include the design of the outdoor space and the main building (access points and their usability), safety concerns and staffing issues, weather and access to shelter, and social activities.

Study Design

Through an environmental audit, staff survey, policy review, and focus groups with residents, family and staff, we will identify barriers at each site in accessing and using outdoor spaces. The NARI research team will analyse findings and present them to interested stakeholders at each site. A small team of staff, residents and family at each site will develop and implement an action plan to address barriers identified and to promote access to and activities in outdoor spaces. A follow-up staff survey and focus groups will evaluate the extent to which the action plan was implemented and impacted on outdoor access. Possible safety concerns such as falls rates will be monitored throughout.

Participating Site

St George's, Benetas


NARI, St Vincent's Health, Lyndoch Living, Austin Health, RMIT, University of Melbourne, Federation University

Project Summary