Enhanced sensory care for older people

Enhanced sensory care for older people receiving a home care package: A pilot intervention study

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

This project is part of a larger research program in the School of Nursing that focuses on frailty in older people.

Home care packages (HCP) are designed to support older people with complex needs to remain in their own homes for as long as possible and provide a range of services based on assessed need. The highest level of HCP provides home assistance, meal preparation, transportation and nursing services. However, unmet needs of community-living people (both with and without dementia) are common, often non-medical and include a lack of meaningful activity, physical engagement and social connectedness. Quality of life assessment is one of the indicators recommended for evaluating quality care within home care services.

The majority of HCP are subsidised by the Australian Government to assessed clients with Level 1 providing basic care and Level 4 providing advanced care. However, even with a Level 4 package the psychosocial care needs of the person with high level care needs are often neglected for a focus on personal and clinical care. Many older people receiving a HCP report a lack of meaningful relationships with care providers and little flexibility in their care package to include home activities that increase engagement, and quality of life.

This research will adopt a participatory, co-design approach with mixed methods data collection. The initial phase of this study will involve baseline data collection to describe the amount of sensory input older people receive within the care plans of existing home care packages. Subsequent phases of the study will provide enhanced sensory care for a subset of older people who receive a home care package. Evaluate the impact of the enhanced care program on the i) wellbeing and quality of life of the older person ii) care experiences of the older people; and, evaluate the impact of an enhanced care package on (i) family caregivers' perceptions of care quality following the enhanced care intervention and (ii) burden of caregiving.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Sara Karacsony


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • IELTS of 7
  • Applications are open to Domestic applicants only

Desirable criteria:

  • The applicant has experience in aged care services.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Sara Karacsony to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience