Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA May-Jun 2011 Contents AGED CARE NEEDS
Promoting the advantages of rehabilitative
medicine in aged care will be the focus
of the upcoming HammondCare Aged
Care Conference, Rehabilitating Aged
Care, happening from 23 to 24 June at the
Australian Technology Park, Sydney.
Director of HammondCare's
Dementia Centre, Colm Cunningham,
believes 2011 marks a change in direction
for the organisation, as this is the first
time their conference will focus on
"Rehabilitation is such a critical issue
and we cannot talk about supporting
people for longer in the community if
we do not talk about early and effective
rehabilitation," Mr Cunningham told AAA
"That's why it's a clear agenda item for
us. We are trying to bring the best of what's
happening here and elsewhere together
to formulate thinking about what Australia
should be doing in the future."
The conference aims to examine the
interface between rehabilitation and the
aged care, community, sub-acute and
"We've also chosen to look at something
that is always brought up -- food. That's why
we've chosen Maggie Beer, because as an
older Australian herself, it will be good to hear
her views on this."
The event will feature a wide range of
expert international and national speakers
focus on other topics as well, such as policy,
governance, clinical needs, and the design
and delivery of services.
The future, as Mr Cunningham sees it,
is an aged care sector where most of the
services on offer are community-based.
"There has to be a significant shift to
community-based services. There also has to
be a responsiveness [to ageing] in the home
setting if we are to deliver care to an ageing
Australia. If we don't have that, we will have to
build massive hospitals and institutions and
go backwards when we are actually trying to
drive modern health care."
FIRST TIME OUT
Only a couple of months into the job,
Hammond Chair of Positive Ageing and Care
at the University of NSW, Associate Professor
Chris Poulos, will join a host of other
speakers presenting at the conference.
Professor Poulos thinks the sector should
place greater emphasis on the importance
of rehabilitation services, in the context of
positive ageing, and wants the country's
health professionals to consider the role
they could play in the aged care system of
"Traditionally, rehabilitation happens
after a defined event," Professor Poulos
said earlier this year. "If I had a serious
illness and a hip fracture you would know
the benefit of a rehab program. It gets you
back to the previous level of functioning in
society...If you can't get back to where you
were then you will learn to manage."
"What we are trying to do is to
extend the role of rehabilitation outside
the hospital and use a rehabilitation
approach [in aged care] to fight the
functional decline that ageing and
functional disease brings.
"People don't normally think about
rehabilitation in that way and they may
not think that rehabilitation might help.
Helping people to stay fit and well through
exercise is a good example of rehabilitation
-- to help reverse the functional decline or
postpone what will happen because of the
Rehabilitation, he explains, addresses
the medical, physical and psychological
needs of a person and it is very much
much bigger community view about
rehabilitation and aged care. We must
develop a multidisciplinary workforce
to work together in the community, and
have funding systems that allows that
to happen. The whole aim is to keep
people living independently for as long as
possible in the community.
"I think that people need to start thinking
outside the box in terms of what we should
be doing as a nation to deliver better
services for older people." n
Aged Care Conference
AAA | MAY--JUNE2011 | 75
Positive ageing, exercise and rehabilitation are the big ticket,
cutting edge topics for HammondCare's 2011 aged care
conference, writes Yasmin Noone.
"...we cannot talk about
supporting people for longer in the
community if we do not talk about
early and effective rehabilitation"
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