New trial aiming to reduce symptoms of depression in older people

Victoria will be the first state to trial a new model of care aimed at reducing symptoms of depression in older people, developed by in-home health and aged care provider Silverchain.

The Enhanced Management of home-Based Elders with Depression (EMBED) aims to facilitate early detection and use of evidence-based treatment of depression in older people who receive home aged care.

Led by Silverchain’s Director of Research Discovery, Adjunct Professor Tanya Davison, this pilot will deliver psychological treatments using telehealth. In addition, home care clients will have the option of using a tablet to access a range of digital resources to support their emotional wellbeing.

The technology has been co-designed in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, with funding from Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA). 

“The availability of purpose-designed technology to enable aged providers to improve the wellbeing of home care clients is an exciting development,” Professor Davison said. 

"We have worked closely with our home care clients and our academic partners to develop an approach that provides older people with support and resources to address symptoms of depression."


Professor Davison said the pilot would first be undertaken in the Melbourne metropolitan area with existing Silverchain clients starting this month, before being extended to other states where Silverchain provides in-home aged care.

“The development of the EMBED model of care was in response to evidence that rates of depression are rising among older people who receive aged care services at home,” she said.

“Despite this, aged care staff are mostly not trained to recognise or manage symptoms of depression. In addition, access to mental health services for older Australians with depression is generally poor.

“To address these gaps, from client and staffing perspectives, our industry-academic partnerships developed the EMBED model of care and supporting technology to improve detection and treatment of depression in home aged care, and to address the dual stigma of mental health and ageing that are barriers to care.”

“By working together with home care recipients, their families, and caregivers, we are designing care solutions to improve their quality of life and wellbeing,” Professor Davison said.

Great to see providers looking to develop solutions to address these serious mental health challenges.

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.