A University of South Australia study will evaluate a tool that measures the quality of life of aged care residents.

The University of South Australia is undertaking the study in partnership with the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre and aged care reviews platform CarePage.

The research will evaluate the Happy Life Index, which CarePage co-designed with senior Australians, health professionals and aged care providers and launched in 2019.

Lead researcher Steven Milanese said the evaluation will help understand what’s important to aged care residents and their quality of life.

“To ensure we provide the best care for our aged care residents it is important that we understand what their quality of life is, which requires a way to accurately measure quality of life,” Associate Professor Milanese told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Associate Professor Steven
Milanese

The research aims to validate the Happy Life Index tool, said Associate Professor Milanese from the the University of South Australia.

“This allows us to compare different facilities using the same measure – comparing apples with apples – and allows us to measure the effect of any new programs implemented in aged care facilities to ensure that they do actually improve quality of life,” he said.

In the long-term hopefully it provides evidence on what good aged care is from the perspective of residents, which will allow good evidence-based client-centred care, he said.

Digital Health CRC CEO Dr Terry Sweeney said the project was aligned with the CRC’s focus on aged care.

“This formal validation of the digital platform, the Happy Life Index, has the potential to ensure that aged care is far more responsive to the needs of its consumers,” Dr Sweeney said in a statement.

CarePage CEO Index Lauren Todorvoic said the research provided an opportunity for consumers and providers to work together in quality improvement guided by evidence-based insights.

The research is expected to be completed in November 2021.

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