National Seniors Australia congratulates the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services Senator Richard Colbeck on the announcement of a new $34 million research centre to strengthen the future of aged care delivery in Australia.
National Seniors Australia CEO Professor John McCallum said the Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research to open at Flinders University next year brings to fruition the 2018 Aged Care Workforce Strategy recommendation to establish a Centre for Growth and Translational Research.
“Australian aged care really needed this shot in the arm. It has rightly been under heavy scrutiny and criticism through the Royal Commission and needed an energy boost to move to a new level,” Professor McCallum said.
“Every industry needs a practical research base and aged care is one of Australia’s fastest growing industries, branded by its regulatory failings which are now being addressed. These regulations are now topics of research around the world and new, safer approaches are coming into play, focusing on the provision of safe environments for consumers rather than focusing on providers.
“Applied research can build better facilities, provide better models of care and cut costs while also improving the quality of care. This has been seen in the development and management of chemical and physical ‘restraints’ to allow people to be cared for with greater dignity and safety for example.”
Professor McCallum said many Australian Aged Care providers have developed their own internal research centres which now have the support and interaction with a national centre, and there will be strength in numbers.
The work, part of the Government’s $17.7 billion investment into aged care in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will initially focus on four priority areas – dementia care, restorative care and rehabilitation, mental health and wellbeing, and social isolation.
“There’s no time better for such an initiative than the present as we undergo major reform in aged care and National Seniors Australia congratulates the Federal Government for this significant step to help improve the quality of aged care services,” Professor McCallum said.