AMONGST the funding initiatives announced in the Federal budget are many that will benefit senior citizens.
One of the key initiatives will see the government provide an unprecedented $25 million for dementia, ageing and aged care research.
A total of 18 grants, provided through the Medical Research Future Fund, will go to Australia’s best and brightest researchers.
Their research will look at new ways to extend older Australians’ healthy, active, years of life.
New approaches will reduce the stigma associated with ageing and lead to better outcomes for older people, including those in vulnerable populations.
Consistency and quality of care for older Australians will be improved across all care settings.
The projects will view a range of ways to improve support for older Australians.
These include developing an app for older people to recognise early signs of dementia; and increasing dementia diagnosis and early treatments through primary care and awareness programs.
Researchers will look at reducing the risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease and falls through healthy lifestyle and diet changes, including a specific exercise and falls prevention program for older culturally and linguistically diverse Australians.
People’s fitness to drive when they have been diagnosed with dementia will be better assessed and managed.
Older people will be encouraged to communicate their aged care needs, provide their views on screening for age-related health conditions, and engage in physical activity for better health.
Health providers will be helped to better recognise and respond to elder abuse.
Researchers will also trial the use of metformin medication to treat blocked leg arteries; and use informatics to improve medication management in nursing homes.
The government allocated close to $7.5 million in funding to support research that will help prevent hearing loss and improve the health and wellbeing of those who live with hearing impairment.
Health Minister Mark Butler said the funding will support evidence-based research that will improve access to health care to prevent hearing loss and improve the lives of those with hearing impairment.
“We want to ensure that all Australians have access to appropriate health care, to prevent hearing loss and help those with hearing impairment remain healthy and active,” he said.
AGED CARE REVIEW
Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells is encouraging older people, their family, friends, carers and aged care providers to share their views on strengthening quality in aged care through the Aged Care Quality Standards.
The review responds to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and includes key areas such as food and nutrition, diversity, dementia, clinical care and governance.
The content and structure of the current quality standards have been revised following significant targeted consultation with key stakeholders including consumer representatives, the sector, peak bodies and experts.
Minister Wells said the Aged Care Quality Standards were more than just a document.
“They provide a shared understanding of what is expected in aged care and they are being urgently reviewed so we can strengthen requirements and embed high quality in the aged care system,” she said.
“I want to ensure all older people receive high quality care that is best suited to them and meets their individual needs, which is why it’s so critical that as many people engage as possible and have their say.
“We heard what the Royal Commission said and are raising the bar for quality and safety.”