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Left: YASMIN NOONE, Deputy Editor
Middle: STEPHEN EASTON, Journalist
Right: CARMELLA ROWSTHORNE, National Advertising Manager
Innovation is the name of the game at TLC Aged
Care, the subject of this issue's cover story.
Journalist, JO COOPER says the introduction
of an on-site innovation and quality centre
demonstrates the importance of innovation to
the organisation. "TLC Aged Care is proud of
their innovation efforts, and rightly so. It's a
bold move to introduce this focus, but one that
should pay dividends for the organisation and
particularly its staff."
In this edition, DALE FISHER, speaks to Dr Bill
Silvester, an intensive care specialist at Melbourne's
Austin Hospital. Dr Silvester is a presenter at the
annual Tri State Conference which is being held
in Albury in February and has a special message
for aged care providers regarding his pioneering
work with advanced care directives. Dale says,
"Look out for his presentation as it will challenge
currently held ideas and practices around
resuscitation of residents."
VENERABLE AGED CARE
policy guru, Catholic Health
Australia's Richard Gray
(see p32), earned his
reputation on the frontline
for nearly every major
policy development and
implementation in the
'modern' aged care sector.
What's amazing, when you
think of it, is that for all his
veteran aged care status,
Richard Gray has only
worked in aged care for 20 years and all the landmark events and all
the 12 ministers he's worked with have been in that period. It may
seem like a long time, but as I personally face up to the reality of
2012 being my 8th year in this job and my 11th year researching and
writing about these issues, 20 years doesn't seem so long to me.
The aged care system has undergone massive changes and
evolutions in the last two decades but none so seismic as those
we are expecting in the next twenty or thirty years.
We can rush about extrapolating data and making predictions
but of course we can't know what the future holds. Thinking
ahead to 2030 and 2040, any number of variables affecting this
sector may and will change, and change again.
Advances in medical research, curing, preventing or delaying
onset of any of the myriad diseases and conditions of advancing
age could be complete game-changers, especially in dementia.
Developments in technology, changing economic scenarios, new
social movements and environmental issues will all have a role to
play. We just don't know how yet.
But against all the uncertainty, there are some reliable
assumptions. Whatever happens in terms of a system of
caring for, supporting and housing older people, it will be what
consumers want. What consumers want, the market will deliver;
providing the law prevails, rights are protected and key social
structures and the environment are not imperilled, successful
governments won't stand in the way.
How can we be sure of that? Easy...just ask yourself. Project
yourself to age 85. Perhaps it's 40 or 30, 20 or even only 10
years from now. You're an expert: educated, worldly, full-bottle
on ageing issues. And there's no way you're going to go through
what your mother/father/grandparent went through at that age.
What does your life look and feel like? Where do you live? How
did you pay for it? How do you spend your time? What supports
are available? Are your health needs adequately met? How do
people relate to you? Do you have financial security?
Surviving in the coming decades will mean remaining flexible
and adaptive to continual change. Thriving will involve thinking
that goes beyond business models envisaged by accountants.
'Older Australians' are not a different species. They are all of us
soon enough -- in all our diversity. By envisaging the world we
know 'we' would like to live in as older people, successful new
business models should become imminently clear.
And this is the year for it.
Tel: 02 8586 6183
AAA | JANUARY -- FEBRUARY 2012 | 3
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