Ageing Well@home in rural and regional communities

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation onlypeer-review


Ageing can be associated with reduced independence, mobility and social isolation, which leads to an increased risk of becoming dependent on aged care services. The recent Royal Commission into Aged Care has highlighted the significant crisis in our current aged care system, requiring several key changes to improve the quality and access of care. This is even more evident in rural and regional areas where further limitations on access and availability of services are prevalent. Maintaining health and independence in the home context is key to avoiding premature admission to residential aged care facilities.
Research is clear that physical activity, cognitive ability, social connection, and a sense of purpose are key factors in maintaining wellbeing for older people. Therefore, innovative approaches such as the Ageing Well@home program are urgently required to better support older people to age independently without the need of premature reliance on aged care services, particularly for those residing in rural and regional communities.
Pilot Research:
The Ageing Well@home program builds on the successful non-randomised pilot trial (Ageing Well@CSU) undertaken at Charles Sturt’s Albury campus in 2018 and 2019. Ageing Well@CSU is a 10-week, dual tasking program, focused on building cognitive and physical capacities within the context of a socially engaging program. Outcomes of this pilot resulted in improvements for participants when assessed pre-and post-program on a range of physical and cognitive outcome measures. Additional research on the long-term impact of the Ageing Well@CSU program, 12 months following its completion, found sustained positive cognitive, physical and social impacts, from the perspectives of the participants.
Co-design and community engagement:
Currently, the Ageing Well@home program is being co-designed with allied health professionals from the private and public health sectors and with older people who have previously participated in the Ageing Well@CSU program. This co-design process aims to support the translation into a home and community setting through developing a range of audio visual and web-based program resources for use by allied health professionals and older people. The next phase is to collaborate with industry partners specifically located within Charles Sturt’s footprint, including Western NSW to pilot the new community base program.
Program evaluation methodology:
Research aim: Evaluation of the pilot program will focus on acceptability to program participants and staff delivering the program, ‘fit’ of service and community context, participant satisfaction and pre and post participant outcomes focusing on mobility, independence, and social connection.
Research design: A collaborative co-design approach has been adopted for this research, within which, a mixed methods approach will be adopted to evaluate program outcomes. Staff and participant interviews will be used to explore feasibility, service ‘fit’ and alignment with specific community contexts. Standardised measures of participant performance and satisfaction will be collected prior to and following program completion. Standardised measures of mobility, independence, and social connectedness will be collected from program participants pre- and post-program.
There has been increased broader interest in this program since recent dissemination of results from Ageing Well@CSU program, enabling potential opportunities to collaborate with industry partners to secure additional external funding to support future development of the program. The future focus for external funding would be on a sustainable train the trainer approach to enable scale-up and expansion of the program across multiple sites as well as evaluating the program for specific -population groups, including First Nations peoples, people with Dementia, and people in isolated rural communities.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2022
EventRural Health Research Institute Retreat 2022 - CSU, Orange, Australia
Duration: 27 Jul 202228 Jul 2022


ConferenceRural Health Research Institute Retreat 2022
OtherAgenda attached to PID 237887937


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