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Flinders Professor of Healthy Ageing, Sue Gordon, will head a new research centre in SA. Picture: Supplied.

New $34 million dollar research hub for aged care

A new multi-million dollar research centre will use the voices of older people and aged care staff to influence the future of aged care delivery in Australia. 

The Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research, set to open in February, will operate out of Flinders University in Adelaide and develop new products and services for the sector. 

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the $34 million dollar research hub will be a "big step forward" for aged care reform.

"It’s important for the government to back innovation and accelerate the uptake of new technologies and research to benefit our ageing population," said Colbeck.

Established as part of the government’s response to the royal commission, the centre will run in collaboration with university researchers, aged care providers, peak advocacy organisations and older people.

Dementia care, mental wellbeing and social isolation will be the high priority areas to be tackled in the first year of the centre.

"It’s carefully considered, it’s comprehensive, and crucially, it will ensure the voices and needs of older people and their families are central and are heard," said Flinders vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling.

The centre will also offer 600 internships for aged care workers to help drive research into increasing the future workforce.

Recent reports have highlighted the impending staff exodus facing Australia's aged care industry, with one in five workers expected to quit within the next five years.

According to Flinders Professor of Healthy Ageing Sue Gordon, leading research in this area will help to push widespread reforms.

"Societies are judged on how they look after the least capable members in their community, and we thank the federal government for acknowledging the strategic importance of a capable workforce providing evidenced care," said Gordon.

"The most important outcome will be to drive growth in the provision of aged care that is aligned with innovation and based on increased workforce capacity and capability, enabling change that is safe, delivers high-quality outcomes, and increases the opportunity for all Australians to enjoy healthy, well-supported ageing.”

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