Research and Evaluation

In March 2015 CareWest established the Research and Innovation Unit. Headed up by Dr Gregory Dresser, the Unit is responsible for developing strategic research priorities, leading research activities (including the interventions associated with research projects), and managing research systems and reporting requirements. The Unit also supports the activities of Executive and Senior Management staff by providing internal consultation services on a broad range of issues, including corporate governance, project and program evaluation, tender writing, staff and sector-wide training and development, and business planning and reporting.

 

Research Projects

 

Social and Community Links:

 

Here at CareWest we see social interaction as being crucial to the wellbeing of older people and the detrimental effects of loneliness on wellbeing in older people may manifest as cardiovascular disease, depressive symptoms and mortality. Older people face barriers to maintaining social and community links, which can lead to social isolation and a downward spiral in wellbeing. These barriers are magnified in regional Australia.

Social Links aims to promote social inclusion by having a dedicated person, known as a Linker, connect older residents to community organisations, initially in the cities of Orange & Griffith. The Social Links Linker will use the following strategies to promote social inclusion:

  • In depth engagement with a broad range of community organisations to allow collaboration to address barriers to par­­­­ticipation in older Australians.
  • Reach out to clients of organisations providing services to older individuals and older individuals in the broader community. The Linker will identify each individual’s needs to create appropriate connections between each person and the relevant organisation.
  • The on-going relationship between the Linker and each older person will allow the Linker to create new connections, if necessary, based on changing needs.

The effectiveness of a Linker in increasing community connectedness is being evaluated in conjunction with Charles Sturt University. For more information about Social Links contact Eevon Chia on 1300 CAREWEST (1300 227 393).