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.
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.