The brave new world of smart home technologies

Mr Dennis Lo1, Pip Tyson1, Katie-Jane Frame1

ILC Tas – information and advice about assistive technology, South Launceston, TAS


Smart home technologies are systems designed to automate household tasks, to simplify access to telecommunication, and to improve security in a home environment. Smart home technologies can be customised to accommodate a wide range of users, from mainstream consumers to people with a disability and older people.

The use of smart home technologies can bring a myriad of benefits to older people in our communities through improving health outcomes, well-being and social connectedness. They can also empower individuals in daily living activities and enable independence. These technologies can also facilitate flexible and responsive service delivery models as well as efficient resource allocation for service providers.

This presentation will examine the concept of smart home technologies in the context of aged and community services and how they can contribute to better health outcomes, independence and quality of life.

Examples of current and emerging smart home technologies will be discussed as part of the presentation. Benefits of these technologies specific to the older people population will also be highlighted.

Considerations and challenges in the use of smart home technology among older people in aged care settings, such as accessibility and ethical issues, will also be explored as part of the presentation.


Dennis is a Speech Pathologist with an interest in AAC and emerging smart technologies. He was involved in the 7th International Convention on Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology and was a board member of the Australian Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology Association.

Pip is an Occupational Therapist with over 10 years experience with the ILC Tas, she has an avid interest in complex telecommunications access, environmental control and home modifications.

Kate is an Occupational Therapist and a qualified Access consultant. She is passionate about empowering people through the use of assistive technology, techniques and promoting inclusive environments for all.

Maximising Recruitment and Selection Efficiency through Innovative Technology: Sonru & Xref

Ms Sandra Cinar

Mercy Health, Richmond


Mercy Health is committed to ensuring the recruitment and selection of a highly skilled workforce through a fair, equitable and transparent process.
In Aged Care we are hands on carers, our workforce is integral to the quality of care we deliver. Following a number of bulk recruitment campaigns, it was observed Mercy Health’s Aged Care division was experiencing a period of high turnover. The inevitable untenable cost of this prompted HR to review the recruitment and selection process.
A need to gain greater insight into candidates beyond their resume prior to inviting them to an assessment centre was identified. In addition, hiring managers were completing time-consuming reference checks prior to the appointment of candidates.
HR began researching innovative opportunities to overcome these concerns and subsequently Sonru, a provider of online screening technology, and Xref, a provider of online reference checking technology were engaged.
As a not-for-profit organisation it is essential that Mercy Health optimally utilise its key resource: its people. Sonru and Xref have markedly improved the organisation’s ability to identify high quality candidates as well as significantly streamlining the recruitment process, allowing our people more time to devote elsewhere in the business whilst still maintaining outstanding appointment results.


Sandra Cinar (CAHRI) has worked within the health sector for the past 10 years, in a variety of HR positions across Mercy Health. Sandra currently holds the role of National Human Resources Manager Residential Aged Care, providing strategic advice and business partnering across 22 locations nationally.
Guiding a team of six, Sandra ensures the effective delivery of HR services across recruitment and retention, workforce planning, performance management, award and agreement interpretation, and change management. Sandra holds a Master of Human Resource Management Business from The University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Victoria University.

Is Your Mindset Undermining Innovation?

Ms Debbie Hindle1

12appreciate Consulting

Does the mindset of your people and organization encourage innovation?   Key research suggests there are two mindsets that influence how you approach learning, development and challenges. And we each have a combination of both.   When you are in a fixed mindset you believe that talents and abilities are fixed traits, and there’s not a lot you can do to change that.  Having a fixed mindset means you are overly-focused on the outcomes, more likely to avoid failure, and fear other’s judgements and criticisms.    However, when you are in more of a growth mindset you believe talents and abilities can be developed through hard work, learning from experiences, drawing on resources and mentoring from others.  While outcomes still matter you aren’t afraid of challenges and trying new things, and learning from mistakes.  Innovation has been found to emerge more readily from organisations with a more growth mindset that supports and encourages reasonable risk taking, and learning and growth from mistakes.

Participants will learn how an authentic growth mindset culture can unleash innovation, development and true potential across their organization, and will gain insight into their own mindset triggers.

Debbie is passionate and committed to facilitating positive change in the lives of people, organisations and the community.  She was an inaugural graduate from University of Melbourne’s Masters of Positive Psychology program. She has been privileged to work in Human and Community Services for nearly three decades, across non-government organisations, the tertiary sector, and all levels of government.  This included Senior Adviser to the Tasmanian Human Services Minister during the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  She gives her time as a board member to non-profit organisations. She is director and Positive change facilitator with her company 2Appreciate Consulting.

There’s an app for that! Using technology to minimise health risks to the elderly from pollen, smoke and heat

Ms Sharon Campbell1, Dr Amanda Wheeler1, Dr Fay Johnston1

1Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Environmental conditions such as smoke, pollen and temperature can have a major impact on the health of vulnerable people, especially the elderly and those with existing chronic health conditions. Severe air pollution and heat events are known to cause increases in ambulance call outs, hospital admissions and death.

AirRater is a free, innovative and unique air quality monitoring project delivering automated and personalised data on smoke, temperature and aeroallergens to a smartphone app or web-based interface. This enables individuals with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or allergic rhinitis, and their carers, to identify poor air quality and receive early warnings.

Understanding reductions in air quality can lead to improvements in symptom management and quality of life.

This presentation will provide information on the AirRater app, how it has been used and received in Tasmania to date, and how it can be used in a residential aged care setting.

Why the topic will be of interest to participants: Residential aged care facilities can use the AirRater app to assist with resident management and reducing the health risks associated with increased smoke pollution, increased pollen and extreme heat.

Sharon Campbell has a background in public health, with a particular interest in environmental health and climate change. Sharon managed the AirRater project through development and launch and was instrumental in building a user base across Tasmania. Sharon has managed the evaluation of the AirRater app and has been key in building relationships between a broad range of stakeholders.

Sharon has a Masters of Health Promotion and is a PhD candidate at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, looking at the area of climate change and health in Tasmania.

Learning Reablement in a Virtual World

Dr Tanya Petrovich1, Ms Kelly Burns1

1Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is changing the way we teach dementia support through the use of virtual reality (VR). VR technology is an emerging approach to dementia education enabling participants to learn and be immersed in a virtual world.

 EDIE- Educational Dementia Immersive Experience allows the participant to step into the lives of Edie and his partner who are living with a diagnosis of dementia, exploring first-hand the difficulties they face.The program is underpinned by an enablement philosophy with a focus on optimising wellbeing, minimising the risk of excess disability and supporting greater independence. By adopting a reablement approach, EDIE focuses positively on what people can do given appropriate support, and on the possibilities for living well with dementia.

This presentation will explore the concept of Reablement as a client driven support approach for people living with dementia and how it fits within an active service model. We will also show how we apply reablement through the use of a virtual world.

The VR technology coupled with input from expert facilitators, aims to inspire practice change that will ultimately leave people with dementia feeling more engaged, supported and empowered.


Kelly never imagined as a Clinical Nurse Consultant that her experience would lead to the development of serious VR game applications. In her role as Course Developer for Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Kelly is doing just that. Kelly is an experienced educator with a strong interest in the use of technology to create interactive, engaging and accessible learning.  Kelly is excited about developing evidence based, innovative approaches to learning that drive a change in dementia practice.


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