Research, research, research
18 September 2012

Research, research, research

Our research department has been very busy over the past six months, with a number of project findings being released.

In partnership with Deakin University and Uniting Aged Care, Benetas was involved with the evaluation of a training program for professional residential and community carers in recognising late-life depression in older people. This research showed there are benefits of providing depression training to direct carers and personal care workers, particularly in recognising depression in older people. One of the main recommendations from this research was to open lines of communication between residents, families, carers and GPs to ensure that depression is not just seen as a natural part of ageing. The report will be released in the coming months.

Another major research project has been looking at older women’s perceptions of younger women, particularly in the workforce. Predictions of older women being envious of the opportunities in both education and work for young women today were not supported. The women in our sample recognised that younger women did have tremendous opportunities but they also brought responsibilities, and the older women admired younger women for taking on these challenges. It was also found that many women initially considered their work lives short, but greater questioning elicited long forgotten memories of paid employment, albeit infrequent or short term. Despite the cultural norm that married women did not work unless they were disadvantaged, most of the women in fact worked all of their adult lives.

A trial was completed by Benetas and The University of Melbourne earlier in 2012, using technology to reduce social isolation in older people. The trial included a group of Benetas community care clients, who were identified as being socially isolated, being given an iPad. They used the iPad to take photos, and then shared these photos and comments with the group. The trial was very successful, showing that many members of the group felt less isolated, with some even making good friends! The full study is due to commence later this year.

And finally, Benetas has just concluded a project on war veterans, post traumatic stress and dementia. The study found evidence to support a link between post traumatic stress and dementia. We will share more of the findings with you in the next edition of ‘In Good Company’.

You can view the full Benetas research and advocacy plan here