The Australian home care study: prevalence, recognition and treatment of hearing, vision and dementia among vulnerable older Australians

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Home care provided by professional caregivers enables older Australians to remain engaged and connected to their communities and to carry on living in their own homes rather than needing to move to a residential aged care setting (i.e. home care supports 'aging in place'). Supporting people in their own homes rather than in residential aged care also reduces care costs. In recognition of the importance of home care, the Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety included funding to boost the number of home care places to 275,598 by June 2023, a 90% increase on 2019 levels.

Health-related morbidity is likely to have a major effect on the quality of life and ability to age in place. But the health needs of Australian home care populations are not well characterised, particularly with respect to levels of cognitive and hearing/vision impairments. Both cognitive and sensory impairments tend to go under-recognised and under-treated. Hearing and/or vision impairments interact to significantly exacerbate the impact of cognitive impairments on quality of life, increasing behavioural and psychological symptoms, communication barriers and social isolation, cognitive decline, higher care need and care costs.

The aim of this project is to obtain direct estimates of the prevalence of cognitive impairments, hearing/vision loss and other psychiatric disorders among people receiving home care services, and to obtain estimates of their combined effects on quality of life and ability to age in place. This research is designed to provide information to health providers, policy makers, regulators, the aged care sector, and the general public.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Professor Piers Dawes

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

A working knowledge of aged care, especially home care services, would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of dementia and/or hearing/vision impairment and the potential for scholastic success.

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process