Jan 19, 2017

How Being Online can add ‘Life to Your Years’

Modern advancements in technology and in the medical field have helped improve the health of the public and allowed us to live longer. A new innovative online resource aimed at identifying and reducing serious health issues in older people has been launched in the hope of adding “life to your years”.

The Positive Ageing Resource Centre (PARC), accessible at www.parc.net.au, offers a one‐stop shop for people seeking support around frailty and health by providing access to vital medical and community supports.

The resource, funded by the Australian Government through the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grants fund, (now the Dementia and Aged Care Services fund), has been developed by leading Victorian not for profit aged care provider Benetas with research support from Monash University.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, said that providing opportunities for older people, and their carers, to self‐manage their health and wellbeing in particular around frailty was important to achieving positive health outcomes.

“We want to ensure older people and their carers, wherever they live, have access to the supports and information they need to maintain their quality of life as they age,” Minister Wyatt said.

“By providing practical and individualised tools such as PARC, we’re making sure that frailty, and its serious consequences, can be identified and mitigated in older people.”

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the multifaceted nature of the website, in both screening for frailty and offering self‐management tools and resources, enabled older people to take a proactive approach to their health and wellbeing to help prevent serious health issues.

Reversing the impact of frailty in the elderly

“We know that when people with frailty are exposed to a minor stressor such as an infection, they become especially vulnerable to more adverse health outcomes,” said Ms Hills.

“The signs and symptoms of frailty are quite subtle and are often not noticed; the aim of this tool is to help people pick up on signs earlier and then, together with their General Practitioner, ultimately treat and prevent frailty from having a serious and negative impact.”

“Benetas has a long‐standing commitment to ensuring older people can continue to live their best life, and this resource plays an important role in contributing to that.”

PARC is part of a suite of frailty research being conducted by Benetas, and information provided with the consent of participants will go on to inform further frailty research.

“In collaboration with Monash University, we hope to develop ways of slowing and even reversing the impact of frailty, which would be highly significant to improving the lives of older people,” said Ms Hills.

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