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New technology hub to support older Australians living at home

In a bid to keep older Australians at home for longer, a new research hub has been established with a recent $3 million Federal Government grant to help develop and research different technologies to assist with personalised and practical in-home care.  

<p>The Hub is addressing effective and affordably in-home or in-residential care solutions that is safe and has the appropriate technology to create a “smart home”. [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

The Hub is addressing effective and affordably in-home or in-residential care solutions that is safe and has the appropriate technology to create a “smart home”. [Source: Shutterstock]

Research from the ARC Research Hub for Digital Enhanced Living, at Deakin University in Melbourne, Victoria, aims to produce better in-home and in-care treatments, improve safety monitoring, reduce rehabilitation time, improve mental and physical wellness and reduce the time of cognitive decline.

In Australia, there has been a rapid growth in the ageing population, providing concerns and challenges around adequate health and aged care to meet the increased demands for services.

The Hub is addressing effective and affordably in-home or in-residential care solutions that is safe and has the appropriate technology to create a “smart home” focussed assisted living environment.

Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, along with Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar, launched the Hub last week, saying this research is vital to address growing demands for personalised and practical in-home care.

“This Hub will develop new technologies that will improve the quality of life for Australians that need support to stay in their home, from young adults living with disability, people recovering from brain injury, through to older people in our communities,” says Mr Tehan.

“The Government is working with universities and the private sector to fund and establish research hubs that address critical issues facing Australia today.”

Mr Sukkar says the Government is aiming to support older Australians wanting to live at home for longer and believes the hub will provide a lot of necessary research that will impact safety monitoring, reduce rehabilitation times and slow down cognitive decline.

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Iain Martin, says the Hub will use technology to provide high-quality ageing and disability rehabilitation support, which will keep people independent for longer.

“We will be developing effective, affordable and safe in-home and in-residential care solutions, such as smartphone technology to support the mental health of elderly people and avatar learning tools to improve care for people with dementia,” Professor Martin says.

“Collaboration will be key to the work of the Digital Enhanced Living Hub as industry partners outline their challenges and research teams find solutions. Together we will translate these outcomes into commercial use.”

Leading Age Services Australia Chief Executive Officer, Sean Rooney, says, “LASA welcomes the Government’s investment in research to develop technologies and build an evidence base that supports older Australians to age well and remain living independently at home for as long as is possible.

“Innovation is critical for the age services sector to deliver consumer-focused services for older Australians.”

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