Institute for Health & Ageing

Staff as Change Agents

Staff as Change Agents: Enhancing and Sustaining Mental Health in Aged Care

The Gables - Aged care facility

Professor Marita McCabe and her team have been collaborating with residential care agencies to conduct research to address depression and behaviour and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) in both the community and residential care for the past 15 years.

This research had highlighted the importance of adopting a collaborative approach: one that provides useful information and programs to aged care facilities as well as contributing to our broader understanding of factors related to health problems among residents.

It is important not to forget the wellbeing of family and staff in this process. The research conducted by Professor McCabe is also designed to reduce the burden of care and burnout for both carers and the family, as well as improve their quality of life.

Professor McCabe, along with colleagues from ACU and Deakin University is currently leading a NHMRC-funded project to address organisational barriers that make the management of BPSD difficult. The project is imbedded in the residential aged care sector and industry partners have been closely involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of the project. In particular, Benetas, Blue Cross and Southern Cross have played an active role in the implementation of the study, with the view to improve the mental health and quality of life of residents in their facilities as well as the staff members who work there.

Professor McCabe and her team look forward to extending the current research agenda to other industry partners, as well as broadening the focus of the interventions.

In the Media

Aged Care insite interview with Marita McCabe