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About Benetas

Research

At Benetas, we conduct and implement high quality research that supports our vision for older Victorians to ‘live their best life’.

Every research project we undertake has practical applications and is designed to improve the way we deliver aged care. Importantly, our work reflects a rights-based approach to research which emphasises participation, transparency, accountability, non-discrimination and privacy.

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Research Strategy

Our Research Strategy builds on the strong foundations of current and past research and innovation work at Benetas.

Our rights-based approach to research extends to the implementation of evidence into practice. Our research directly informs and guides the delivery of high quality residential, community-based and retirement services to our customers by supporting them to exercise choice, maintain wellbeing and independence, and optimise overall quality of life.

To optimise the potential of our research, we frequently collaborate with external research institutes, universities and academics. We encourage our clients and colleagues to suggest potential research topics and approaches, and participate in our research.

 

Current Research Projects

Benetas Client Experience Survey

Best Life Model of Care evaluation

Quality of Life Project

The aim of the Benetas Client Experience Survey is to provide a point-in-time snapshot of our clients’ experiences. Client experience – compared to client satisfaction – refers to people’s perceptions of the services they receive. These perceptions link directly to specific actions we can take to improve care and services.

Through this survey, we identify areas of service provision that can be improved or changed in residential and community-based services. It also helps us to identify the extent to which Benetas’ principles and values are reflected in clients’ experiences. In this way, our clients and their relatives inform our continuous quality improvement program.

Benetas’ Best Life Model of Care aims to provide a more holistic and home-like residential aged care experience than more traditional models of care. This new residential model of care is being piloted in purpose-built facilities at St Paul’s Terrace, Frankston South, The Views at Heidelberg, and Dalkeith Gardens, Traralgon.

The Research team is now conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the new residential model of care. The findings from this evaluation will inform continued refinement and implementation, and to contribute to the evidence base for best practice residential aged care.

Quality of life is a complex concept that is difficult to quantify. The Benetas Quality of Life Project aims to identify and trial suitable measures of quality of life across our business areas. Simply put, we want to improve our understanding of the extent to which our clients are experiencing a good quality of life.

For this project, we have conducted comprehensive reviews of the literature and best practice, and consulted with clients and employees in our community, residential and retirement services. We are now developing and trialling tools to measure quality of life outcomes, including in people living with cognitive impairment. This evidence will inform our efforts to embed innovative practice that enables us to deliver a positive, fulfilling experience of ageing.

Benetas Client Experience Survey
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The aim of the Benetas Client Experience Survey is to provide a point-in-time snapshot of our clients’ experiences. Client experience – compared to client satisfaction – refers to people’s perceptions of the services they receive. These perceptions link directly to specific actions we can take to improve care and services.

Through this survey, we identify areas of service provision that can be improved or changed in residential and community-based services. It also helps us to identify the extent to which Benetas’ principles and values are reflected in clients’ experiences. In this way, our clients and their relatives inform our continuous quality improvement program.

Best Life Model of Care evaluation
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Benetas’ Best Life Model of Care aims to provide a more holistic and home-like residential aged care experience than more traditional models of care. This new residential model of care is being piloted in purpose-built facilities at St Paul’s Terrace, Frankston South, The Views at Heidelberg, and Dalkeith Gardens, Traralgon.

The Research team is now conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the new residential model of care. The findings from this evaluation will inform continued refinement and implementation, and to contribute to the evidence base for best practice residential aged care.

Quality of Life Project
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Quality of life is a complex concept that is difficult to quantify. The Benetas Quality of Life Project aims to identify and trial suitable measures of quality of life across our business areas. Simply put, we want to improve our understanding of the extent to which our clients are experiencing a good quality of life.

For this project, we have conducted comprehensive reviews of the literature and best practice, and consulted with clients and employees in our community, residential and retirement services. We are now developing and trialling tools to measure quality of life outcomes, including in people living with cognitive impairment. This evidence will inform our efforts to embed innovative practice that enables us to deliver a positive, fulfilling experience of ageing.

 

Completed Projects

Increasing intake of Calcium and Vitamin D

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This project looked at increasing the calcium and vitamin D intake of older people through an enhanced dairy menu. Led by the University of Melbourne and Austin Health, and funded by the Dairy Australia and an international dairy farmers’ consortium, Benetas was one of a number of aged care providers who participated. The findings informed better practice in nutrition requirements in aged care facilities in Australia.

Frailty in community dwelling older people

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This project, was funded by a 2015-2017 Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant from the Commonwealth Department of Health. It aimed to validate and implement a simple self-completed tool that can accurately identify frailty. This means that older people who are at risk of increased dependency and/or mortality can be identified and provided with appropriate services to keep them well.

The project found that almost half of older Australians living in the community are frail (6%) or pre-frail (38%).

The project also validated the FRAIL Tool as a simple and reliable screening test which can be used in a variety of settings including telephone triage and general practice.

Part of the Frailty project is PARC: The Positive Ageing Resource Centre, which is now no longer accessible.

This offers a one-stop shop for people seeking support around frailty and health. The resource has been developed by Benetas with research support from Monash University.

At the launch of PARC, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that providing opportunities for older people, and their carers, to self-manage their health and wellbeing in particular around Frailty was important to achieving positive health outcomes. “We want to ensure older people and their carers, wherever they live, have access to the supports and information they need to maintain their quality of life as they age,” Minister Wyatt said. “By providing practical and individualised tools such as PARC, we’re making sure that Frailty, and its serious consequences, can be identified and mitigated in older people.”

View the video

Download the final report (abridged version)

In 2019, Benetas launched the Positive Ageing Tool, which builds on the research and findings, and provides a simple Frailty health check, and a range of advice for people to understand their health check results.

Shared Connections

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This project was funded by Perpetual Trust (2014). This project trialled volunteers as mentors to assist older people at risk of social isolation to reconnect with their community through involvement in interest groups. The outcomes have informed social isolation initiatives at Benetas in the community setting.

Better Health Connections

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This project was funded by Department of Social Services (2013-2015), and was led by Benetas in partnership with Bayside Medicare Local. The project aimed to improve health and aged care pathways to optimise care for aged care recipients who are moving between sub-acute health and aged care services. The project identified barriers to access and developed tools and strategies to overcome these. Several academic journal articles have been published, including:

Davis J, Morgans A, Burgess S. (2016). Information management for aged care provision in Australia: development of an aged care minimum dataset and strategies to improve quality and continuity of care. Health Information Management Journal 45(1):27-35.

Davis J, Morgans A, Burgess S. (2016). Information management in the Australian aged care setting: An integrative review. Health Information Management Journal 46(1): 3-14.