From the invention of new personalised medical technologies, to hiring dedicated staff and forming research partnerships, Uniting AgeWell is embracing technology and innovation to change the way it delivers services.
Uniting AgeWell General Manager Strategy and Business Development Fonda Voukelatos said technology would aid the organisation in becoming more efficient, by increasing staff contact time and improving relationships with clients.
“We are committed to delivering person-centred, customer-focused care and technology is helping us do that,” he said.
Uniting AgeWell’s firm commitment to innovation is cemented in its current Strategic Plan with a key objective to achieve “strength, learning and innovation through partnership and collaboration”.
A dedicated Manager Research and Innovation, Nina Bowes, was appointed to drive research and development endeavours and forge relationships with research partners.
“We are motivated to work in partnership with universities and commercial entities around common outcomes for clients, and to develop a more environmentally sustainable organisation,” Fonda said.
Uniting AgeWell has already embarked on several major research projects that centre on technology in aged care.
In 2017, it became the lead aged care partner in a multi-million dollar research partnership with Deakin University. Known as the Digital Enhanced Living project, a team of researchers will investigate how appropriate and affordable new technologies can improve quality of life for older people living at home or in residential aged care.
Uniting AgeWell has been trialling interactive companion pets across several sites. Thanks to built-in sensor technology, the cats and dogs respond to petting and affection, like real animals. Early results indicate the pets bring comfort and joy to residents, and assists to reduce anxiety and agitation.
The organisation has also embarked on two research partnerships that will investigate wellbeing in people with dementia.
The projects could provide valuable insights for the aged care industry as it continues to learn how best to embrace technology and mental health awareness moving further into the 21st century.
For more information on Uniting AgeWell’s research and innovation projects visit unitingagewell.org