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Benetas research leads to a smoother transition into Residential Aged Care homes

9th December 2021

A move into Residential Aged Care homes can be stressful for older people and their families, primarily because it is a significant change from living independently.

Thanks to a grant from the Psyche Foundation awarded to leading aged care provider Benetas, research was conducted into how to improve the mental health of people moving into residential aged care and ease the transition for them and their loved ones.

Benetas welcomes more than 300 new residents into their Residential Aged Care homes every year. The research, managed by Benetas Senior Researcher Dr Meg Polacsek, aimed to uncover the pain points to help support residents and families better when the time came to make the move.

“Any transition can go well or badly,” Dr Polacsek said.

“It could be the birth of a child or starting a new job. But we especially know that the transition into aged care homes can be stressful and emotional.”

Residents, families, employees and volunteers participated in the research and provided feedback on their experiences and the support they received. Participants then recommended and co-developed resources they thought would be most useful.

Dr Polacsek said there were no expectations as to what answers would be provided during the research, but we were surprised by the consistency of the responses.

“Without question, residents were clear on wanting descriptive videos. That is, short films giving ‘real life’ examples of living in aged care homes, and how to take care of their mental health.

“As a result, we produced videos that focused on two topics, the mental health of new residents as they begin transitioning to aged care homes and the support that Benetas provides as residents embark on this new chapter in life.

“We wanted to showcase this series of videos as a practical outcome of the research focused on resident’s needs, as opposed to the often dry and academic outcomes sometimes seen.”

The Transition videos are now complete and are hosted on the Benetas website. The videos are regularly being viewed by potential new residents and their families to help best support their move.