Age-Friendly North East Victoria

Longer, healthier lives bring great benefits. Older people are the backbone of communities: providing volunteer emergency services, transport, sport and social services; supporting and running small local businesses; providing assistance and support to families, neighbours and other community members.

Age-friendly communities play a significant role in preventing or delaying many of the health problems related to ageing and chronic disease.

The United Nations proclaimed 2020-2030 the Decade of Healthy Ageing, calling for sustained global action to generate transformative change in four interconnected areas: address ageism, create age-friendly communities, deliver integrated care, and provide long-term care.

Age-friendly North East Victoria has developed a range of resources to assist local communities transform into environments where everyone can age well.

Current Resources

Indigo 4Ms
Age-Friendly Health Care

Age-friendly health care can ensure older people live longer in better health. The Indigo 4Ms Framework consists of evidence-based guidelines in four interconnected areas—What matters, medication, mobility, and mental wellbeing—that can prevent, slow, or even reverse common age-related difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, and remembering and reduce harm and improves outcomes in hospital-based care.

The Indigo 4Ms Framework provides integrated care for older people in rural settings consistent with the quadruple aim of primary health care: to improve population health, deliver a higher quality service to patients, lower costs, and ensure the wellbeing of the health workforce.

Development of Framework

The Indigo 4Ms Framework was developed with funding from Better Care Victoria. Older people and clinicians from across the Ovens Murray area took part in a co-design process informed by the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) advice on the development of guidelines.

The co-design team assessed two best-practice models—the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s 4Ms Framework and the World Health Organization’s Integrated Care for Older People guidelines—and academic findings specific to rural healthcare to build a rural health Indigo 4Ms Framework.

An economic evaluation showed substantial cost savings if age-friendly care was delivered to older Victorians.


  • Building an Age-Friendly Indigo Health System: Final report to Better Care Victoria

    In 2018, Better Care Victoria funded the Indigo Consortium to develop an innovative, systems-based approach to the care for older people. The Indigo Consortium, in collaboration with its partner agencies, applied the National Health and Medical Research Council’s advice on the development of guidelines and co-design to develop the Indigo 4Ms Framework. This report documents that journey.

    Download Report
  • Age-friendly care for older adults within rural Australian health systems: An integrative review

    Winterton R, Hodgkin S, Clune S and Brasher K (2020) Age-friendly care for older adults within rural Australian health systems: An integrative review Australasian Journal on Ageing 40(1), 16–34.

    This paper identifies the core elements of interventions and models of care that facilitate positive outcomes for older adults within rural Australian health systems and assesses the extent to which these core elements align with the core elements of IHI’s age-friendly health systems 4Ms Framework.

Current work

The Indigo 4Ms PRIMM project was funded by the Australian government through the Department of Health and Aged Care. It was a collaboration between seven rural health services and the John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research. Using a co-design process with over forty older people and health workers from across the region, it has produced a set of new tools that will increase rural capacity to deliver integrated, age-friendly care.

The Indigo 4Ms tool for older people will enhance the autonomy of older people. It will enable them to act with purpose to maintain or improve their capacity, creating the conditions for older people to do and be what they have reason to value.

The Indigo 4Ms tool for primary healthcare workers will be instrumental in enabling health workers to navigate the complexity of integrated care for older people by its ability to structure the clinical encounter through the 4Ms. The tool guides health workers in conversations with older people to address the commonly missed, essential areas of care.

To put both tools into practice, the Australian government has provided funding: to support the implementation of the Indigo 4Ms tool for health workers into primary health settings in six rural health services, and the State Trustees Australia Foundation will support the implementation of the Indigo 4Ms tool for older people in four rural communities. The John Richards Centre for Rural Ageing Research at La Trobe University will undertake a large-scale evaluation of primary health implementation and is leading the community-based work.

Download Report

Download Toolkit for Older People

Download Toolkit for Healthcare Workers


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