More than 90% of the ageing population in Australia have one wish: to remain independent. The Age and Ageing Clinical Academic Group is focused on improving quality of life, so that this demographic can function better and age well into the future.
We are using research and education-driven clinical care to achieve this. It’s important that new knowledge has a direct impact on the health of seniors. That we can use our collective strengths to influence policy, research and practice. And that we become Australia’s leading multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional seniors health stream.
- Prevention, diagnosis and management.
We are looking at ways to prevent, identify and treat adults with delirium, as well as those at risk of cognitive decline and falling. This work involves looking at the impact of other injuries related to falls, and the development of one-stop-shops to assess and treat cognitive impairment and dizziness that will lead to fewer ED presentations, hospital admissions and, importantly, improved quality of life in older people.
- Models of care and service planning.
We are undertaking research to identify any gaps based on current and future need. We also need to understand how much research supports aged care service integration. We are looking at how we can expand existing, successful models of care, how we can integrate projects – across services, systems and sectors - and identify the unmet service needs of aged care patients and families.
- Quality of life.
We are working closely with patients to make person-centred care a reality. This kind of care reflects a person’s preferences, which enable a better quality of life. We are also looking at how we can ensure a smooth transition from one care setting to the next, and improving how we support and enable caregivers.
- Assistive technology (AT) and environment.
We are exploring how to use smart environments and AT to detect and manage falls and dementia remotely. We’re also developing research methodologies to continually test the effectiveness of AT.
- Health Workforce.
We are ensuring the healthcare workforce is prepared and capable of caring for older people. As such, we are creating aged care competency frameworks that can be used across multiple settings: nursing, medical, allied health, pharmacy and care workers.
8 of the 14 Maridulu Budyari Gumal partners have representation on the Age and Ageing CAG. This includes the Ingham Institute, Neuroscience Research Australia, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, South Western Sydney Local Health District, St Vincent’s Health Network, The University of Technology in Sydney, UNSW Sydney, Western Sydney University and New South Wales Ministry of Health.
As a new collaboration, we are developing strong links across the team and welcome anyone who’d like to contribute to our integrated research translation and education programs. We work across disciplines, campuses, geographies and organisations to achieve our vision. Our group has been set up to appeal to a broad audience, for anyone with similar interests.
- Education: Improve the understanding and management of ageing-related disease by focussing on both diagnosis and management of geriatric and medical syndromes (with a focus on cognitive disorders and falls). The ultimate aim is to be able to assess, diagnose and treat disorders seamlessly for older people.
- Care: Refine current models of care that address illness and functional decline associated with ageing. Existing models will be expanded and new models of care will be developed to address future needs for the ageing population.
- Quality: Acknowledging the importance of autonomy in the older person and that it is key to contribute to a positive quality of life. Working to ensure that in any circumstance an older person’s agency and right to choice is respected and acknowledged in all aspects of decision making.
- Technology: Be one of the early adopters of assistive technology and implement some methodologies around benchmarking and developing tools to measure the effectiveness of assistive technology and its impact in improving the lives of older people.
- Workforce: Understand the future projections of the ageing population and the consequent increase in the needs for this population. Part of understanding this need is to train a sustainable workforce to meet the needs of the ageing population and develop aged care competency frameworks to embed this across all settings of allied health.