News & Events

From the CEO

April 9, 2019

It is not often that you will hear me talk about The Project or Q and A, or indeed any other television show. But recent events in New Zealand and elsewhere in the world, as well as coverage of cell therapy cancer treatment, has got me thinking about the role of research in our daily lives.

Both shows rely on research to guide and deliver informative programs, to help us understand the issues behind the events to raise social consciousness or medical discoveries to build our understanding of the disease and potential treatments.

Over the past year at OCAV we have stepped up our own research program through partnering with acclaimed researchers and institutes such as La Trobe University, the National Ageing Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

We are also conducting our own research into some of the projects that we have had funded through philanthropic foundations, such as our wellbeing program at Liscombe House, or home safe program in all our villages.

Well-conducted research is vitally important to us.  Research draws its power from the fact that it is empirical: rather than merely theorizing about what mightbe effective or what couldwork, our collaboration with researchers allow them to work closely with residents to design studies that give us, the aged care and retirement sector and policymakers hard data on which they can base future strategies and programs.

Our involvement with NARI and the introduction of a seniors’ exercise park at Leith Park will not only enable us to ensure our residents remain fit and active, but we hope that it will also enable NARI to translate the findings into an effective health program.

Similarly, the collaboration with La Trobe University in two research programs – virtual reality and the part it may play in social connections among independent living residents and their families and friends, funded through the Ian Rollo Currie Foundation, and Winternet Café, funded through the Australian Research Centre aimed at improving online access and digital literacy for older Australians – will shed light on how technology can improve the lives of older Australians.

Thanks to funding from philanthropic trusts, we are building in before and after surveys to establish a more robust understanding of how arts and music can make a difference to the lives of our residents living with dementia. We use this information to tailor one-on-one sessions. It is all part of our commitment to person-centric care.

None of our research programs could be run without the willingness of our residents. No resident is forced to be involved, and residents can drop in and out of programs as they wish. To date, all residents who are involved are excited about taking part and the contribution they are making to answering tricky questions.

Our involvement in these influential programs is important, and we continue to look for new partners to work with as we look for solutions that will help us support our older people better

Leith Park is a wonderful place for single older women because of the community and the age-friendly accommodation. I don’t think I have ever felt as safe as I have here.

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