Improving the health of aged care residents: ‘Frailty in residential service over time’ FIRST Study
Resthaven and the University of Adelaide are undertaking a research project that aims to improve the health of aged care residents by investigating how their health status changes over time.
Resthaven Senior Manager Clinical Services, Leonie Robson, says, ‘The FIRST Study will help to validate a new frailty screening tool, the FRAIL AC, which was developed specifically for its use in residential aged care.’
‘The research will also explore the relationship between frailty progression, residents’ use of life space and their perspectives on quality of care, as well as collect important health data to better determine the prevalence and progression of frailty, associated health outcomes and health care costs.’
‘Participation is on a fully voluntary basis, with all collected information to remain confidential.’
‘Participants will be asked to answer detailed questions about their current health, with the support of an experienced nurse, and repeat the survey again in around 12 months’ time.’
‘We are in the process of liaising with residents who would like to participate from across all twelve Resthaven locations. The study commenced in March 2019, and the data collection phase is anticipated to be completed by December 2020.’
‘The FIRST Study is a collaborative initiative of Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care Centre (GTRAC) and Resthaven.’
‘We are excited to work together with the University of Adelaide GTRAC, undertaking this important research to support the wellbeing of older people.’
Professor Renuka Visvanathan from the University of Adelaide, who is the also the Director of Geriatric Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Project Lead to the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing, says, ‘This is a great example of aged care, academic and health services collaborating together.’
‘Not only will this generate new evidence that contributes to improved health and wellbeing of residents, but also build capacity for the future by supporting the training of research nurses, PhD and post-doctoral candidates.’
Resthaven residential aged care homes are located at Aberfoyle Park, Bellevue Heights, Craigmore, Leabrook, Malvern, Marion, Mitcham, Murray Bridge, Mount Gambier, Paradise, Port Elliot and Westbourne Park.
Resthaven also supports older people to live independently in their own homes throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Fleurieu, Barossa, Riverland and Limestone Coast of South Australia.