Research and Wellbeing Programs

Research Programs

RFBI is pleased to support the following programs that investigate or promote health and wellbeing in older Australians:

$240,000 for a research project at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, ‘Healthy Gums and Muscles for a Healthy Brain’, which has identified a causal connection to a number of major health issues and poor dental hygiene. The research will continue at a number of our Villages with the permission of some residents and their families to verify this connection.

$100,000 to help train dental technicians to work in regional and remote communities to address the awareness of dental hygiene.

The Men’s Health Education Rural Van, a collaboration between RFBI and Rotary, is a mobile service within regional areas to address men’s health issues and encourage them to obtain treatment and early intervention. RFBI has donated $85,000 to fund the nurse for this two-year program.

RFBI supports Neuroscience Research Australia’s (NeuRA) research in stroke rehabilitation by providing three PhD scholarships. NeuRA is a leader in brain and nervous system research, whose goal is to prevent, treat and cure brain and nervous system diseases, disorders and injuries through medical research.

RFBI provides scholarships for two commencing Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students undertaking research in the area of aged and palliative care at Sydney Nursing School.

Quality of Life Programs

Animal therapy. Many studies have shown that interacting with pets provides many benefits. Those living with dementia often interact happily with pets, and animals can provide a welcome distraction for those who may suffer from chronic pain, loneliness and depression. RFBI has a menagerie of resident and visiting pets across our villages, from working sheep dogs at our Moonbi village, bunnies at Glen innes, to cats, budgies, galahs and our well-fed chooks in numerous locations. Regular visitors also include a much loved miniature pony and the occasion reptile!

Art therapy.
Studies have shown that art can reduce the depression and anxiety that are often symptomatic of some chronic diseases. Imagination and creativity can flourish in later life and so an outlet for this creativity is a regular party of each of our villages activities schedule. In some Villages we are lucky enough to have residents who are accomplished artists and they kindly help others who are less artistically minded, adding to the enjoyment for residents and staff alike. RFBI Armidale Masonic Village in particular has regularly won awards for artwork created by residents.

Intergenerational visits from local pre-schools, scouts, and primary schools these visits are a highlight for our village residents and the local community. Our annual Christmas Card competition is a much anticipated event, with the winners selected by our residents and a prize giving held at each village

Technology Solutions

CareVision is a TV and mobile technology that helps families stay connected, share memories and messages, provide entertainment and news, and reminders for events and social groups. RFBI is the first aged care organisation to trial this technology. Residents in our Villages can share and receive photos and messages with family from their in-room TV, and see the daily menu and activities calendar. For Care at Home clients, the software records care information and gives clients and their relatives access to this information, along with billing and additional services support, plus an emergency response button.

PARO, the therapeutic robot harp seal. PARO is an advanced interactive robot, which allows the benefits of animal therapy in locations where live animals might present treatment or logistical difficulties. PARO is currently in our villages at Lake Haven and Glenn Innes.

Google Home is a new, big hit with our Dubbo residents enabling them to access a favourite song, ask a question, play games and access information.

Nurse call software. This new software offers a modern clean interface and the ability to more easily tailor nurse call functions to an individual resident’s needs.

Clinical notes software on iPads allows our staff to enter information directly into the clinical system. Less time sitting in front of a computer means staff can spend more time doing what they love, caring for our residents