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In this wrap: funding for frailty project; Mercy Health expands aged care services; calling on aged care’s best and brightest; walk to reduce falls after meals; aged care food professionals wanted for a survey; and a time to celebrate.

In this story:
  • Funding for frailty project
  • Calling on aged care’s best and brightest
  • Mercy Health expands aged care services
  • Walk to reduce falls after meals
  • Aged care food professionals wanted for a survey
  • A time to celebrate
Portrait Of Senior Man Holding Metal Cane
Funding for frailty project

Victorian aged care provider Benetas has received $1.2 million to undertake research to identify and mitigate frailty in older people from the Department of Social Services through the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants.

The project will trial frailty screening in health and aged care assessment through a collaborative process and establish resource pathways to help older people self-manage their health and wellbeing.

Announcing the funding on Tuesday, CEO Sandra Hills said as people interacted with the health and aged care systems, they would be screened using predetermined criteria to assess their frailty and risk and then assisted to manage those factors through a range of partner services and resources.

She said research indicated that frailty could be managed and mitigated in some cases to improve long-term health and this project would develop the resources and partnerships to help in this area.

The frailty project builds on research developed through the organisation’s Sub Acute Linkages in Later Years (SALLY) initiative, which identified key gaps in the interaction of health and aged care and ways to improve linkages.

The Hesta Aged Care Awards 2014 finalists and winners
The Hesta Aged Care Awards 2014 finalists and winners
Calling on aged care’s best and brightest

Nominations are open for the HESTA’s annual aged care awards, which this year is offering $30,000 in prize money in recognition of outstanding leadership and innovation and those individuals who go above and beyond.

HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said the awards showcased leading-edge work in the sector to improve the lives of older Australians across a broad range of health care issues.

“As well as supporting families, these individuals and organisations find ways to give their clients greater independence in their day-to-day lives, at home and in what are now increasingly vibrant residential care communities,” she said.

Ms Blakey encouraged the sector to nominate an organisation or individual working in aged care that deserved a place on this year’s winners’ podium.

The three award categories are outstanding organisation, team innovation and individual distinction.

Nominations close 30 May. Finalists will be announced in July and flown to Canberra for the awards dinner on 27 August.

Make a nomination or find out more at

Mercy Health expands aged care services

Mercy Health has announced the acquisition of Shepherd Aged Services, adding two residential facilities in metropolitan Melbourne to its aged care operations across Victoria, southern NSW, the ACT and Western Australia.

The health and aged care provider will begin providing aged care services at Good Shepherd Nursing Home and Hostel in Abbotsford and Maryville Hostel in Boronia from 1 June.

Mercy Health has been providing residential aged care services in Victoria for 20 years and also provides palliative care, home and community care, acute and subacute hospital services, maternity and specialist women’s health services, early parenting services, mental health programs and health worker training and development in the eastern states.

CEO Adjunct Professor Stephen Cornelissen said it would be an honour to care for residents at these two well-established homes and they looked forward to working with residents and staff to meet the rising demand for aged care services both locally and across the country.

Elderly couple walking through the park hand in hand
Walk to reduce falls after meals

South Australian researchers have found that going for a walk after meals can help prevent falls in older people who suffer from post-prandial hypotension, which causes a fall in blood pressure within two hours of eating a meal.

This health condition affects many older people after a meal, usually breakfast, and can cause them to feel tired, dizzy or a fall, said Professor Renuka Visvanathan from the University of Adelaide and director of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (G-TRAC) Centre and the Aged and Extended Care Services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Although common, many older people are unaware of the condition and researchers have been trying to better understand why this it occurs in order to develop improved treatments or prevent it, she said.

Researchers from the Universities of Adelaide and South Australia have confirmed that older people with post-prandial hypotension should be encouraged to walk intermittently at a normal pace for at least 120 minutes after a meal, as a means of reducing the fall in blood pressure, Professor Visvanathan said.

fresh vegetables

Aged care food professionals wanted for a survey

Researchers at the School of Health Sciences at Flinders University are seeking aged care food service managers, chefs, cooks and dieticians to participate in a survey on how food is provided in Australian residential aged care facilities

The predominantly multiple-choice survey covers the demographics of the facility, the food service system, the dining environment and experience, and the menu.

It has a particular focus on special diets and the provision of therapeutic diets to residents who have diabetes.

Access the survey here: Food service in residential aged care facilities in Australia.

Contact Rachel Milte on or 08 8275 1067 for more information.

Elizabeth Jenkins Place NSW Seniors Week
A time to celebrate

Residents and staff from Salvation Army Aged Care Plus retirement village and aged care centres have been hosting events for local communities including high tea, craft stalls and musical performance as part of recent seniors’ week celebrations in NSW.

Among the events, Woodport Retirement Village hosted a barbecue and arts and craft stalls for staff, residents and visitors including Gosford Mayor Laurie McKinna.

There were a variety of musical performances at the Warringah Place Retirement Village (right) including singer Bryan Young, pianist Vena Butt, the village’s ukulele group, and Peggy Pye and the Warringah Minstrels, in front of guests including Warringah Mayor Michael Regan.

At the Elizabeth Jenkins Place Aged Care Plus Centre in Collaroy, High Tea was served to residents and the local community accompanied by a variety of musical performances.

COO Kate Callaghan said seniors’ week was a special time for Aged Care Plus could share its passion for caring for older people with local communities and showcase the great lifestyle enjoyed by residents in our retirement villages and aged care centres.

Tags: Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care, Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants, benetas, Debby Blakey, flinders-university, frailty, hesta, Kate Callaghan, mercy-health, Rachel Milte, Renuka Visvanathan, salvation-army-aged-care-plus, sandra-hills, Shepherd Aged Services, Stephen Cornelissen, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, university-of-adelaide, Woodport Retirement Village,

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