Getting started with care

We’re here to guide you on your care journey and make finding the right type of care as simple as possible.

Our Locations

Discover which of our services are available in your area.

Complex dementia research

Leading and collaborating in multidisciplinary research that improves relationship-based care for people living with complex dementia and their care teams.

Complex dementia research

Leading and collaborating in multidisciplinary research that improves relationship-based care for people living with complex dementia and their care teams.

Our research in complex dementia

Our internationally-recognised dementia research, including for complex needs, is integral to many of our focus areas and the services we provide. 

HammondCare and The Dementia Centre partner with research organisations in Australia and around the world to help build the evidence base for issues affecting people living with dementia. We also work with and empower people with lived experience, families and carers through education and consultancy.

Positioned at the intersection of research and operations within Australia’s largest provider of dementia-specific services, HammondCare provides a working model of ongoing research knowledge, translation and implementation. 


Collaborations improving quality of life

HammondCare and the University of Sydney signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2022, cementing our long-standing collaboration. It also expands the University’s support in furthering HammondCare’s vision for research-driven innovation in the health and aged care sector, including for complex dementia. 

The work of University of Sydney educators and researchers contribute to HammondCare’s research, and our partnership contributes to building the care workforce of the future. This will support HammondCare to reach our ambition to set the global standard of relationship-based care.


Developing evidence-based guidelines

Between 2012 and 2020, we supported the Cognitive Decline Partnership Centre (CDPC) at the University of Sydney. The partnership comprised care leaders from around the country, including:

  • HammondCare
  • National Health & Medical Research Centre
  • Alzheimer’s Australia
  • Helping Hand Aged Care (SA)
  • Brightwater Care Group (WA)

Our collaboration focused on cognitive and related functional decline in older people, delivering outputs tied to the delivery of care, as informed by research. Valuable resources and evidence developed from this partnership can be found on the CDPC website.


Our complex dementia research focus areas

Clip art Check list

Describing and evaluating the behaviours and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) approach of our Specialist Dementia Care Program, and Dementia Support Australia activities and outcomes.


Implementing and evaluating new technology and innovations in a personalised way to reduce the need for restrictive care interventions.


Describing and evaluating dementia care design to place HammondCare as a leader in community and intergenerational engagement.


Examining the evidence and shaping best practices for people with terminal agitation.


Strengthening our clinical trials capability and collaborations.

Current projects


The Dementia Centre research and analytics team collect and characterise key outcomes and indicators in HammondCare Specialist Dementia Care Program Units (SDCPUs). The longitudinal data set is not only of operational utility but also informs research grant submissions and academic publications.

Our team will be working with other SDCPU providers to evaluate whether these services result in fewer and shorter hospital admissions. The aim is to understand if the care provided through these services can reduce the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, lower rates of prescription of medications and improve quality of life.

The Darlinghurst Study

This study evaluates the value of HammondCare Darlinghurst holistically, to inform key areas of policy and service provision for older people at risk of homelessness.

Our researchers aim to demonstrate the cost benefits of our Model of Care, examining housing and hospital, community and emergency services. The reason for this broad view is that older people who become homeless may have received multiple services throughout their lives. The study may also identify key points for preventative intervention targets and opportunities for service improvements.

Being Present

When people enter residential care, they have to adjust to an unfamiliar environment, new systems and new people. This can be challenging for anyone, and for people with dementia, it can be a particularly difficult time.

This study was undertaken by HammondCare and The Dementia Centre in three HammondCare care homes in the Northern Sydney area, in which we asked care workers:

  • What aspects of care did they feel they performed well in providing?
  • What challenges did care workers feel they faced in being ‘present’ with residents with dementia?
  • What supports do care workers think would help them be more ‘present’ and provide better person-centred care?

Research collaboration with HammondCare

As a leader in the industry, HammondCare is frequently approached for research partnerships by individuals and institutions. If you want to collaborate in a research grant application or project, you can find out about the application process through our Research Governance Office. 


Completed research

HammondCare and The Dementia Centre have been researching dementia and complex dementia for nearly 30 years, contributing to a range of important developments in understanding and practice. A small sample of past projects show the diversity of our research involvement. For details on our recent research, please refer to the latest HammondCare research report.

Community care for the elderly: needs and service use study (CENSUS)

This project was conducted to help us better understand the needs of older people and their caregivers who receive community-based care services, and how well these services meet their needs over time. We also investigated whether community services improve the quality of life of older people and reduce caregiver burden.

This was a collaboration between UNSW and the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres.

This project aimed to gain insight into the day-to-day wellness needs of caregivers of people with dementia. By investigating well-being across several wellness domains, identify the constraints that limit caregivers from achieving a sense of good well-being.

This project was funded by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centres and was undertaken in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology, UNSW and Alzheimer’s Australia.

This project aimed to develop a nationally applicable and accessible gold standard framework to guide point-of-care palliative dementia care, raise community and aged care provider awareness of dementia as a terminal illness, and increase confidence to have conversations about end-of-life care decisions and preferences.

This project was funded by Alzheimer’s Australia and undertaken by HammondCare in collaboration with Flinders University.

This project involved a systematic literature review relating to:

  • seating for people living with advanced dementia
  • a review of available seating products
  • the development of a seating typology.

The literature review was in addition to a review of clinical practices used in residential aged care facilities. Current practice has no empirically-based guidelines but, anecdotally, clinical experience suggests that seating is suboptimal and may lead to poor outcomes. This project laid foundations for future practical intervention studies to improve care outcomes for residents and staff.

This research inspired the production of the ‘10 tips about seating and postural care for older people’ booklet, available to download for free

The project was funded by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and was undertaken in collaboration with UNSW, Brightwater Care Group (WA) and the Independent Living Centre (NSW).

This project reviewed existing literature to identify assistive technologies that can be applied in everyday practice to improve mobility, communication, cognition, manipulation and orientation. This project was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and published in the PDRC Report. 

My Life, My Way is a project providing support to older people with dementia and their carers in the Belfast and Northern Trust areas. It aims to promote the personal autonomy and decision-making of hard to reach, older people with dementia who are isolated and at high risk of disempowerment.

My Life, My Way is a partnership project with the Big Lottery Fund and the Belfast and Northern Health and Social Care Trusts. The six-month realistic evaluation, which concluded in March 2019, looked at the program’s impact from the perspective of people with dementia, carers, referrers and volunteers.

Dementia is a leading cause of disease burden in Australia. Functional deficits in daily living activities, such as personal hygiene, are predictable outcomes of the progression of the disease. Dementia is commonly accompanied by behavioural changes, including agitation and aggression, frequently associated with the performance of daily activities, including toileting and often directed toward the carer.

This project used a semi-structured, in-depth interview with care recipients, their family carers and care workers to determine: 

  • the level of acceptance of the bidet by the user
  • the perceived efficacy of the bidet to cleanse and dry the user
  • the ways in which the bidet is used.

Overall, we sought to develop an understanding of the issues and benefits of bidet use. This project was funded by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre.

This project explored the use of a baby doll to provide enhanced life engagement to residents with dementia. Peer-reviewed journal articles support the use of dolls in triggering happy memories and/or soothing patterns of changed behaviour. Measurements of behaviour and emotion were taken before, during and after the therapy sessions for analysis.

When data collection was completed and analysed, results were used to create a personalised doll therapy plan for each resident for use in their life engagement program.

The objectives of this project were to:

  • identify gaps between the theory and practice in the design of residential care homes
  • discover obstacles to best practice, such as cost or lack of knowledge
  • develop strategies to overcome the obstacles to ensure best practice
  • disseminate these strategies for discussion.

The project was funded by the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Wollongong.

The Going to Stay at Home project was the development of a seven-day intensive residential carer training course. This project aimed to provide a practical, cost-effective, intensive and accessible residential family carer training course to enable carers and people living with dementia to keep living in the community.

The program was run at HammondCare Miranda in 2013 and also ran in Tamworth in March 2014. This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and undertaken in collaboration with UNSW.

In this study, 55 high-care residents were relocated from Sinclair Home – a ‘traditional’ care home environment – to HammondCare Southwood which adopted a cottage model of care. We monitored the effects of relocation and the new model of care on resident engagement, distress and interaction with staff. Staff work patterns and family satisfaction were also measured.

The environments were audited with three separate tools.

The study showed that resident engagement increased following the transition and further increased in the months following staff training. Staff also showed an increase in interactive tasks with residents after the move and again after training. 

Low rates of distress were recorded in both environments. Southwood cottages scored higher on all domains of the three audit tools, offering a more private, home-like residence. Restraints were not used in Southwood, resulting in a higher level of falls, which decreased back to pre-transition levels after a few months. Families of residents were more satisfied with the environment, the staff and the food.

This study was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Sydney.

This project was a landmark study that helped inform HammondCare’s cottage model of care early in its development. The study aimed to identify the principles that will assist designers, architects and planners to provide environments which  reduce disability and enhance the quality of life of people with dementia. We also sought to provide a foundation to discuss a strategy for encouraging the use of design principles and the provision of appropriate assistive technologies.

The results of the project indicate a reasonable level of certainty that designers and architects may be confident about:

  • using unobtrusive safety measures
  • providing single rooms
  • varying the ambience, size and shape of spaces 
  • maximising visual access to important features
  • providing stimulus control with periodic availability of bright illumination.

The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre and UNSW.

This project aimed to significantly improve the quality of care provided to people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. By developing and implementing systems, skills and resources for carers and health professionals, we hoped to facilitate timely communication on end-of-life issues with those who  are diagnosed and their families.

This study was led by researchers at QUT and was conducted in collaboration with Spiritus, The Salvation Army Aged Care Plus and Alzheimer’s Australia.