Current Projects

 

DSS Diversity Education

Understanding and supporting the diverse needs of older Australians, and thus tailoring service provision to meet these needs, is an important component of enhancing the care experience for older Australians. This project aims to increase the knowledge, skills and uptake of knowledge into practice of aged care workers regarding awareness and actions related to diversity.

Twenty-four one-day workshops will be delivered nationally to approximately 600 aged care workers. The workshops will be evaluated through surveys and interviews, using an evidence-based evaluation framework, to assess knowledge, skills and uptake into practice of diversity principles. This will be done from the perspective of aged care workers (including registered and enrolled nurses, home care workers, allied health professionals and service and policy managers) and older Australians receiving care.

Older Women Living Alone (OWLa)

Despite increasing longevity, older women are socially and financially disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts. This negatively impacts on their physical, mental and social wellbeing, and is particularly pertinent for older women living alone at home. Currently there is a significant gap in our knowledge relating to older women living alone and an absence in proven strategies that have been shown to maximize their wellbeing and independence while living in the community. To fill this gap, the RDNS Institute along with Monash University will conduct a mixed-method study to understand the barriers and enablers to accessing services, and what strategies older women may need to maximise their health, wellbeing and independence.

OPTIMISES Study

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease, with increasing numbers of people developing it with advancing age. Managing diabetes is complex and particularly challenging in older people as they generally have other health conditions and medications. Treatment targets should be individualised, taking into account each older person’s broader health and functional capacity. While we have information regarding the medicines use of Australians with type 2 diabetes, we do not have any information about the current diabetes management patterns in older people, and whether management aligns with best practice.  Further, individualised care is promoted as the best way to achieve optimal management for type 2 diabetes, however we don’t have any information about how to do this, and whether it is feasible or safe.

This project will trial the safety and feasibility of a new model of diabetes care, aimed at optimising diabetes management in the home and improving quality of life for older people, using a specialised community-based diabetes team.

 Veteran’s Mental Health Research Projects

Over half of individuals in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) experience a mental health diagnosis in their lifetime. In addition to being slightly higher than the rate reported for the general community the profile of mental health differs. Access to appropriate mental health services for veterans and their families is often hindered by confusion around entitlements, availability and best practice. There is evidence that ADF family members can experience distress in response to mental health issues, and also that good family function is an integral part of maintaining or improving an ADF member’s mental health.

RDNS Institute is investigating effective mental health services for Australian veterans and their families, co-creating an evidence-based mental health family toolkit and developing a mental health training program for community nurses to progress evidence and support in the area of veteran’s mental health.

 

Click below for more information on current projects

For further information about any of the research projects, please contact the RDNS Institute via research@rdns.com.au