Flinders at the forefront of aged care reform

2022 will see the nation’s foremost aged care experts from Flinders University hit the ground running, to lead a $34m initiative which will transform the way Australia supports its ageing population.

There was little rest of the festive period for the team who have been awarded the opportunity to establish the Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research with consultancy firm Wells Advisory . With a mission to increase the capability of Australia’s aged care sector, the centre will ensure that research and innovation translate to best practice and equipping the workforce to provide the best possible care to the most vulnerable members of our society.

The three-year initiative – part of Australia’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy and a key response by the Australian Government to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – will develop innovative new products and services, bringing together the aged care industry, older people and national experts to revitalise the aged care sector.

The new Centre will employ 30 staff and deliver 600 internships for aged care workers, and will fund around 60 translational research grants to improve aged care.

Professor Sue Gordon and interim CEO Carmela Sergi are all smiles as they snap a selfie with Senator Richard Colbeck

Speaking at the announcement of the new Centre in December, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Senator Richard Colbeck said “we know we are at a particular point in time with aged care where we are about to see a once-in-a-generation – perhaps even more significant than that – change in the aged care sector”.

Senator Colbeck took time to examine some Flinders innovations that are improving aged care delivery and spoke with many of the staff who will work at the core of this initiative. He took the award-winning haptic device Orby for a spin, learned about the development of an app to address memory loss, and was especially fascinated by an assistive technology device to help people living with limited hand function (pictured below).

Senator Holbeck tests a Flinders innovation

Professor Sue Gordon, Professor of Healthy Ageing, says the new Centre represents a significant opportunity to transform the way Australia supports its ageing society.

“Societies are judged on how they look after the least capable members in their community, and we thank the federal government for acknowledging the strategic importance of a capable workforce providing evidenced care,” she says. “We look forward to applying our wealth of expertise to enable transformational reforms through translation of research to practice which achieves sector-wide improvements.”

To read more about the Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research, click here.

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Caring Futures Institute College of Medicine and Public Health College of Nursing and Health Sciences Research