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Medical Health Aged Care

The “Ciao!” Program, an interactive social inclusion initiative developed for older people in residential aged care has landed down under

Monash University 3 mins read

The National Centre for Healthy Ageing (NCHA), including core partners Monash University and Peninsula Health, in partnership with Amplifon is excited to launch the innovative “Ciao!” Program in Australia, with initial pilot in Victoria. 

 

The innovative program will provide a better quality of care, and more positive experiences for older Australian adults in residential aged care facilities through digitally-enabled social connection.

Currently more than 200,000 people reside in one of over 2,600 residential aged care homes in Australia. A recent survey of more than 10,000 Australians from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety found that one of the biggest challenges facing residents is loneliness and social isolation, heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic. It emphasised the need to create relationship opportunities for older residents of aged care homes so that they can feel happier and less lonely. 

Delivered under the NCHA Living Labs program, and based on the success of the “Ciao!” Program by the Amplifon Foundation, the “Ciao!” Program pilot in Australia will initially provide six residential aged care homes from various Melbourne suburbs representing residents from different areas and cultural communities, with live interactive content via a teleconference system and large 80” screens. The screens will promote new opportunities for active participation through the enjoyment of interactive content, which includes chair-based yoga, virtual travel, therapeutic gardening, following the journey of a Guide Dog puppy in training, and much more, contributing to the overall health and quality of life of the residents. 

“Ciao!” will provide unique opportunities for residents to connect with residents of other aged care homes through video technology, enhancing the sense of community in the homes, and enabling live online interactive sessions across participating aged care facilities.  

Professor Terry Haines, Head of the School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Monash University said the “Ciao!” Program offers an exciting opportunity to enhance engagement among residents within aged care facilities and between different facilities.

“This initiative aims to enrich the lives of those in residential aged care, addressing a need that has been overlooked for far too long,” Professor Haines said.

“Through the collaboration of the Amplifon Foundation and the National Centre for Healthy Ageing, we are introducing to Australia a model that has been successfully trialled overseas, bringing world-class research and initiatives to the Australian aged care sector.”

Rather than 'static' content like watching a television documentary about travel, residents can, according to NCHA Director Professor Velandai Srikanth, engage with the person delivering the virtual tour or speak with the person delivering the exercise program to seek clarification and ask questions. 

“This is a great example of how our NCHA Living Labs program is working closely to improve the experience and wellbeing of those living in aged care,” said Professor Srikanth.

“Through our partnership with Amplifon and the application of leading-edge technology, we are aiming to make a big difference in the lives of many. We know that loneliness in aged care centres is widespread, and so I’m excited to see the launch of this “Ciao!”’ Program in Australia, and to view first-hand the impact, enjoyment and social inclusion possibilities it will have for those living in residential aged care.”

The “Ciao!” Program was launched in Italy in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, to address the prolonged isolation experienced by aged-care residents and to facilitate the maintenance of relationships with their families and opportunities for entertainment and recreation. The “Ciao!” Program by the Amplifon Foundation has supported residents in more than 230 nursing homes in Italy and Portugal. 

Maria Cristina Ferradini, Amplifon Foundation's Managing Director said, “we started the “Ciao!” Program in Australia after our successful experience, first in Italy and then in Portugal. This initiative demonstrates how, thanks to the virtuous combination of new technologies and creativity, it's possible to create new opportunities for relationships and social inclusion for older adults, especially those in nursing homes."  

The pilot project will be officially launched today at 1.45pm at Carrum Downs Aged Care - Medical & Aged Care Group, 80 William Rd, Carrum Downs. Please do not attend if you are unwell or experiencing: fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath.

- ENDS -

About Monash University’s National Centre for Healthy Ageing (NCHA)

The NCHA is a research and innovation hub established in 2019 with foundational investment from the Federal Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Its mission is to lead the transformation of health and care related to ageing for all Australians. It works across four key themes to tackle some of the most complex challenges in healthy ageing: Healthy ageing across the lifespan; Dementia; Hospital to home; and Health care in Aged Care.

About the Amplifon Foundation 

The Amplifon Foundation was established at the beginning of 2020 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Amplifon Group, the world leader in hearing care services and solutions. Its objective is to enable people to reach their full potential in life, with a special focus on older adults at risk of marginalisation.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES 

Helena Powell

Media Communications Officer, 

Monash University 

M: +61 474 444 171

E: helena.powell@monash.edu

 

Adam Redman 

Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs, 

Amplifon 

M: +61 478 333 260

E: Adam.Redman@amplifon.com 

 

GENERAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES

Monash Media

T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840

E: media@monash.edu

For more Monash media stories, visit our news and events site 

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