Aged Care

Silverchain pilots home-based depression care model


Victoria will be the first location to trial a new model of care aimed at reducing symptoms of depression in older people, developed by Australia’s leading in-home health and aged care provider Silverchain.

The first of its kind, the Enhanced Management of home-Based Elders with Depression – or EMBED – is an innovative model of care that aims to facilitate early detection and use of evidence-based  treatment of depression in older Australians who receive home aged care.

Led by Silverchain’s Director of Research Discovery, Adjunct Professor Tanya Davison, this pilot will deliver psychological treatments using telehealth. In addition, home care clients will have the option of using a tablet to access a range of digital resources to support their emotional wellbeing.

This technology has been co-designed in partnership with Swinburne University of Technology, with funding from Aged Care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA).

“The availability of purpose-designed technology to enable aged providers to improve the wellbeing  of home care clients is an exciting development,” Professor Davison said.

“We have worked closely with our home care clients and our academic partners to develop an  approach that provides older people with support and resources to address symptoms of depression.”

Professor Davison said the pilot would first be undertaken in the Melbourne metropolitan area with existing Silverchain in-home aged care clients in January 2024, before being extended to other states where Silverchain provides in-home aged care.

“The development of the EMBED model of care was in response to evidence that rates of depression are rising among older people who receive aged care services at home,” Professor  Davison said.

“Despite this, aged care staff are mostly not trained to recognise or manage symptoms of depression. In addition, access to mental health services for older Australians with depression is generally poor.

“To address these gaps, from client and staffing perspectives, our industry-academic partnerships developed the EMBED model of care and supporting technology to improve detection and treatment of depression in home aged care, and to address the dual stigma of mental health and ageing that are barriers to care.”

“By working together with home care recipients, their families, and caregivers, we are designing  care solutions to improve their quality of life and wellbeing,” Professor Davison said.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.

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