New Award Program Supports Aged Care Providers During COVID-19

Sue Silcox

AGED care teams across Australia are being celebrated for the challenges they have endured through Covid-19 by being invited to take part in a new Touching Moments Scholarship Award Program, which closes on September 30. The program, supported by Brisbane-based BrainSparks and the AGE-u-cate Training, aims to express gratitude to those working in aged care during Covid-19. BrainSparks founder Sue Silcox said providers from aged care, home care or palliative care could apply for 24 scholarships, totalling $6500, which covers full training in AGE-u-cate’s cutting-edge Compassionate Touch® program. “This is very exciting because Compassionate Touch® combines skilled touch and connection techniques with specialised communication, which has been proven to ease stress, anxiety, behaviours and reduce the use of anti-psychotic medications,” said Mrs Silcox. “It improves the quality of life and care for our older population, especially those living with dementia or at end-of-life.” She said AGE-u-cate had trained thousands of coaches within hundreds of organisations over the past four years to bring this easy-to-use technique to aged care providers. “We want to hear your stories so we can share and inspire others,” she said. “The challenges COVID has brought has given us the opportunity to touch others with encouragement, support and celebration of the hard work that has taken place in caring for our elderly relatives, friends and neighbours. I have experienced the benefits this program brings to aged care and want other Australians to feel the benefit too. “The scholarship will cover the full cost of training for AGE-u-cate’s cutting-edge Compassionate Touch® program for three staff from 8 organisations, one from each state and territory, resulting in their designation as a Certified Compassionate Touch Community, able to share the training with their staff, families and community as they see a need. “Families are able to nominate an organisation they feel have gone above and beyond in aged care during COVID-19.” Mrs Silcox said it was exciting to partner with AGE-u-cate and give Australian care providers the opportunity to take on this evidence-informed practice, while they lived through the challenges of the pandemic. “We all recognise the need for human connection and touch and Compassionate Touch has proven benefits for our older adults, their care partners and families,” she said. “We know that when Compassionate Touch is implemented and used, its benefits are felt by many.” Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2020 with award recipients from each state being short-listed from October 10, 2020. For more information or to apply, visit

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