A partnership between LASA and Global Ageing Network (GAN), and a new initiative aimed at accelerating innovation and collaboration in the aged care industry, are among the latest announcements to come out of the 2017 LASA National Congress on the Gold Coast.
LASA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sean Rooney made the announcement of the partnership with GAN and the launch of the innovAGEING initiative during his opening update on day two of the conference (16 October).
Upon announcing the partnership and program, Mr Rooney spoke exclusively to Talking Aged Care and says he is feeling positive despite there being a lot to do in the industry.
"As we’ve heard from presenters today, there’s an innovation imperative for our industry - it’s about doing things differently and doing different things," Mr Rooney tells Talking Aged Care.
"Times have changed and with the turbulence and transformation in our industry, members look to their peak body for support and advice to be able to negotiate that change.
“We’ve identified a few things we could be doing in support of our members that we weren’t. This is what we need to actually progress the reform agenda."
After being labelled an ‘industry in transition’ by the Tune Report, Mr Rooney says change like this to aged services is needed.
“We now aspire to be something that’s designed around ageing in place, that’s underpinned with consumer contributions to the cost of their care and consumer choice and control and with a market competition,” he says.
“That won’t happen overnight and what that actually creates is disruption in the current model that needs to evolve into a new model.
“We need to come up with some fresh thinking - the current conversation is around trying to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions and that’s not going to cut it.
“So coming up with a nationally coordinated approach to innovation that can accelerate that new thinking into the future is really important for the industry and for the country.”
With both innovAGEING and GAN partnering and working with other groups and individuals, Mr Rooney says this partnership is key in solving problems like those currently faced within the aged services industry.
“When you try to solve complex problems, the thinking that created them is not going to solve them so you need to get the thinking and input from people outside of the norm and cutting across boundaries,” he says.
“Innovation in our industry won’t happen without that collaboration."
innovAGEING aims to establish and facilitate a connected community of practice for progressive thinkers, practitioners and innovators in industry; create, capture and share examples of age services innovation in Australia, and promote innovation within the industry and across the wider community; as well as celebrate, highlight and elevate innovation through a major national awards program.
He adds that the initiative is designed to do three things and says that if we can do those three things well, it will be a way to accelerate innovation for the benefit of the industry and ultimately older Australians.
Participation in innovAGEING is open to all providers of care and support in the age services industry, suppliers of products and services to the industry, relevant university centres and researchers, age service consumer groups, interested public sector agencies and investors. Mr Rooney says he invites anyone to become part of the new network of motivated leading thinkers and do-ers in the industry.
He also explains that the GAN partnership aims to connect people and organisations who share aligned values and priorities and says it creates excellent opportunities for all types of organisations whether it’s for shared learning and exchange of information, business expansion or partnerships, or simply informal linkages that connect people.
He says that in an era when the world’s population is collectively ageing, it is vital to embrace the opportunities and learnings that will emerge from beyond the narrow confines of borders and countries.
"My view is that [these are some] of the key mechanisms to deliver on the promise of aged care reforms,” he explains.
“So a consumer centric system that gives older people and their families choice and control.
“Everybody is looking for a different experience, everybody has different expectations.
“In order to meet that, the system needs to be attuned and aligned to that outcome and that’s part of the new ideas to meet that.”
Also announced at the 2017 LASA National Congress were a discounted supplier solutions program which will provide LASA members with better savings at no additional cost; and a news monitoring service, which from next week, will aim to inform member group CEO’s via email with the latest residential care, home care and retirement living news stories and their links.