ON-TRAC: Improving the Mental Health of Older Australians Navigating the Transition to Residential Aged Care

Team members left to right : Dr Shanna Fealy (ECR Lead), Professor Suzanne McLaren, Associate Professor Melissa Nott, Associate Professor Belinda Cash

Congratulations to Professor Suzanne McLaren who is part of a team from the Ageing Well in Rural and Regional Australia Research Group for their successful funding application to the Ian Potter Foundation. In total (with co-contributions) the project is worth $1.67 million over the next 5 years (the foundation funded $600k). Research partners are the National Ageing Research Institute, Federation University, Uniting Age Well, St Agnes Parish.

Overarching aim is to improve mental health and wellbeing among older adults transitioning into permanent residential aged care (RAC) through reduction of depression and anxiety. Specific objectives include:

1. Co-design an evidence-informed psychological intervention tailored to improve mental health and optimise wellbeing in older Australians transitioning into permanent RAC.

2. Pilot trial and evaluate the intervention with a cohort of older adults transitioning to RAC.

3. Work with key stakeholders to implement the intervention in partnership with aged care providers in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. The intervention will be co-designed, co-produced, trialled, evaluated, and implemented in collaboration with older Australians, informal carers, industry care providers Uniting AgeWell and St Agnes Care and Lifestyle (inclusive of managerial and direct care staff), and researchers from Charles Sturt University, Federation University, and the National Ageing Research Institute. The intervention will specifically target older Australians who have not yet transitioned into a RAC facility