Claire O'Connor

Bridging the implementation gap: maximising everyday function for people with dementia

Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration Post-doctoral Fellowship
In Progress
Project Snapshot

One in 10 Australians aged 65 or over have dementia, a leading cause of progressive disability. The Royal Commission into Aged Care recommends enabling interventions such as occupational therapy and exercise to support ability to do everyday activities, and people living with dementia want access, but these interventions are not being offered in usual dementia care. This research seeks to understand how to overcome barriers to successfully delivering enabling interventions within the real-world setting of existing community aged care service providers using available Commonwealth funding sources. In parallel, the project aims to explore whether meaningful outcomes can be achieved for people living with dementia participating in enabling interventions. In partnership with an advisory group (people impacted by dementia and industry stakeholders), we will: (1) explore current practice (clinical audit); (2) seek national input on strategies for how to deliver enabling interventions within community aged care services; (3) test these strategies and explore program outcomes for people with dementia; (4) develop a national guide on how to deliver enabling programs to support everyday abilities in people living with dementia accessing community aged care services. Outcomes have potential to improve the national landscape of services offered to Australians living with dementia.

Where are they now?

At the time of award, Claire was a research fellow at the Centre for Positive Ageing, HammondCare, conjoint lecturer in the School of Population Health, UNSW, and a registered occupational therapist (AHPRA).