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Research For A Better Future

As an innovative and progressive ageing care provider, ECH is committed to improving the lives of older Australians now and into the future. We are dedicated to making a meaningful contribution to a sustainable, inclusive and community focused industry for the long-term.

For these reasons, ECH is actively involved in several collaborative research projects with universities, Government and other ageing care providers to find new ways to significantly benefit and improve the lives of millions of older Australians.

Funded by ECH through Government grants, and in association with other research partners, these innovative projects will provide positive and lasting outcomes for all older people, now and into the future.

Quality of Life for Aged Care Consumers

Quality of life is often said to reduce as you age. Finding out what is important to people and creating ways in which those services can be made available to all will play a key role in helping older people to remain motivated and in control of their independence.   

The Quality of Life for Aged Care Consumers project examines quality of life for older people and what matters most to them.

In partnership with Flinders University, ECH is speaking with a variety of older people receiving ageing care services to find out what is most important for them to have the best quality of life as they age.

The main focus of the project is to understand the perspectives of older people and create new tools that will assist them to access financially available aged care services independently. Once developed, it will also importantly help to measure individual’s preferences on what is important to them for a good quality of life.

This research project will ultimately assist ECH to continue to tailor and improve its services to meet the needs of older people, ensuring clients are provided with the best care available.

Expected completion date for this project is late 2021.

Engagement with Life and Meaning Study

Loneliness and isolation are associated with poor physical and mental health. Staying socially connected and engaged with the community is vital to ageing well.   

ECH has partnered with The Office for Ageing Well and Flinders University for the Engagement with Life and Meaning Study. This initiative explores how to engage with and encourage older people to get involved in meaningful activities they not only enjoy, but which also benefit them socially and mentally.

The study is exploring what a meaningful activity looks like, how it promotes engagement, and most importantly – how it aligns with the key interests and strengths of older people.

It will give aged care providers an understanding of the factors that contribute to a successful activity, while also helping them to better plan individually tailored activities that promote positive and meaningful engagement.

The Engagement with Life and Meaning study is expected to end later in 2021.

Forgotten Australians

With a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, ECH has been working with Helping Hand and Flinders University, and a group of people with lived experience on the ‘Forgotten Australians’ project.  

More than 500,000 Australians – including 150,000 South Australians – were placed in institutional or out-of-home care as children between the 1920s and 1980s, and are now collectively known as Forgotten Australians. Many people within this group currently fear engaging with the aged care system due to negative experiences of care systems during their younger years.

The project, funded by the Commonwealth Government, commenced in 2019 and included a range of focus groups, co-design workshops and interviews aimed at the development of resources to help Forgotten Australians access aged care and be heard and understood. Resources include a one-page profile that captures individual stories and that can follow people through the aged care pathway, and a resource for aged care providers to help them identify the needs of Forgotten Australians.

As part of this critical research project, the Project Team has conducted focus groups with older Forgotten Australians and their families to explore key health impacts, needs, experiences and barriers to accessing aged care services.

From these focus groups, The Forgotten Australians project is expected to be completed in mid-2021.

Female, over 50, Private Rental

Older women, those aged 55 and over, was the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians between 2011 and 2016, increasing by 31%.*

The Female, over 50, Private Rental project in association with Flinders University explores the experiences of women aged 50-64 years living alone in private rental accommodation.

Older women are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia. This project aims to provide a better understanding of the potential factors that lead to homelessness as they age and identify ways to prevent older females from becoming homeless.

ECH and Flinders University are working closely together to develop recommendations based on participants’ own experiences that will lead to support in finding more suitable and secure housing for this group.

The project will provide critical insight into the housing journeys and needs of ageing women. It will also help ECH identify ways to prevent homelessness and promote living independently in this group.

This project is expected to be completed in early 2021.

*Source: humanrights.gov.au