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Research partnership puts focus on the future of aged care

A five-year ‘future of aged care’ research partnership has been formed to examine the impacts of ageing on the population of the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and beyond.

IRT and AHSRI members form a new partnership (Source: IRT Group)
IRT and AHSRI members form a new partnership (Source: IRT Group)

The Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon by aged care provider IRT Group and the University of Wollongong’s Australian Health Services Research Institute (AHSRI) for the partnership looks to address identified national aged care needs by developing person-centred models of care starting in New South Wales.

The aged care provider and the university have had a longstanding collaborative partnership, which formed from a mutual passion for improving the lives of older people through evidence-based research, which has seen them working together on numerous research projects over many years.

IRT Care Chief Executive Officer Jason Malone says the research will see new models of care designed which will provide consistent, measurable and repeatable customer experiences across the patient journey as customers move from IRT at Home to residential aged care.

“This research project is about helping to make the Australian aged care system world-class,” he says.

“We want to improve our understanding of ageing, improve the delivery of end of life care to improve customer outcomes and reduce demand on acute health services, develop models of care that are measurable and repeatable, design better aged care assessments and translate international best practice into Australian contexts.”

AHSRI Director Kathy Eager adds that palliative care in aged care centres is one of the ‘many issue’ to be addressed by the research project, with the goal of developing a more customer-centric approach.

“Research into palliative care will aim to improve the delivery of end of life care in residential aged care,” she says.

“The result will be to both satisfy customer needs and reduce the demand on public health acute services.”

The first steering committee meeting took place at AHSRI on 31 October.

Research outcomes will directly inform the delivery of care and services by IRT, and will be shared with the broader academic and aged care communities.

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