A Curtin University collaborative research project allowing older people to remain in their own home is to be expanded to also support those in the early stages of dementia.
Curtin’s Centre for Research on Ageing (CRA), in collaboration with Silver Chain and Alzheimer’s Australia WA, will be modifying and extending the current Home Independence Program (HIP) to suit people with early dementia. The modified program will be known as HIP-D.
Silver Chain’s Home Independence Program (HIP) is an early intervention program designed to assist older people to maximise their ability to function independently living in the community and thus require fewer, if any, ongoing home care services.
It also reduces the burden of care for family or carers and can delay their entry into residential care.
HIP-D will be an extension of the HIP service model that will specifically target individuals who are experiencing early signs of dementia.
In addition to the development of the HIP-D service model, the funding from the Consumers and Careers Dementia Collaborative Research Centre will be used to develop the training and associated documentation that will enable staff to deliver the program.
Professor Gill Lewin, Professor of Ageing at CRA and Research Director of Silver Chain, said past research on HIP had excluded people with a diagnosis of dementia.
“Anecdotal reports from our staff demonstrate the HIP can be beneficial to people experiencing early memory loss,” Professor Lewin said.
“Mounting evidence also shows the program helps people with dementia to maintain their independence and stay at home for longer than they otherwise would be able to, which is the basis for developing HIP-D.”
Professor Lewin said staged roll out of the service across Silver Chain metropolitan services would start in October 2012 after the development of the service model and staff training.
“Implementation will be accompanied by a rigorous evaluation of the service and client outcomes over the next two years to help ensure the service is effective for clients, their families and carers,” Professor Lewin said.
“The HIP-D program will be assessed in terms of its ability to assist clients to maintain their independence and stay at home for longer.
“The service model and training are currently being developed by CRA in partnership with Silver Chain, who will pilot the project and be the first to implement it.”
The aim is that other aged care agencies will be able to implement the HIP-D program using the new program collateral that is developed out of the pilot project.
Kristy Jones, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org