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Global conference discusses deepening complexities of aged care

LTC conference

The 4th International Conference of Long-term Care Directors and Administrators, held 1-3 August at UNSW Sydney, attracted over 80 international and domestic academics, policymakers and industry leaders to discuss challenges and explore new directions in aged care.  

Long-term care is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world and the new frontier of policy development, especially in Australasia where the number of people aged 80 and above will quadruple to more than 250 million by 2050. In Australia, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over a quarter of a million people (259,000) were using residential care, home care or transition care services on 30 June 2017. In addition, in 2016-17 almost 723,000 people were assisted in their home under the Commonwealth Home Support Program.  

In recognition of the importance of the topic, CEPAR hosted the 4th International Conference of Long-term Care Directors and Administrator in August at UNSW Sydney. 

The conference commenced with an Industry Day at which over 40 global industry players and researchers explored best practice and innovation in long-term care as well as future challenges and opportunities. The day was opened by Liu Bing, Austrade's Senior Trade and Investment Lead. In the afternoon participants were provided with an opportunity to visit a model long-term care facility in Sydney. 

The subsequent two-day conference was designed to inform professionals about the latest developments in assistive technologies, falls prevention, the management of cognitive ageing and decline, and other topics germane to aged care facilities, which, while reported in journals or embodied in guidelines, are often not translated for industry practitioners.

Keynote speakers incldued CEPAR Associate Investigator Carol Jagger, AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing at Newcastle University; CEPAR Advisory Board member Philip O'Keefe, Practice Manager, Social Protection & Jobs Global Practice, East Asia and Pacific at World Bank; Professor Du Peng, Vice-President at Renmin University; and Hiroko Akiyama, Professor of Psychology at the University of Tokyo. 

Highlighted the benefits of a cross-disciplinary approach to issues associated with long-term care, the conference included presentations from economists and actuaries on financing; psychologists and epidemiologists on managing cognitive decline and falls in long-term care settings; and care administrators about the challenges they face.

Several CEPAR personnel presented their research at this conference, including Chief Investigators Kaarin Anstey, Hazel Bateman, Robert Cumming and Michael Sherris; Associate Investigators Carol Jagger and Lindy Clemson; as well as representatives of CEPAR's partner organisations PwC, World Bank and the Australian Government Department of Health.

The interactions informed both practitioners and academics and attracted national media coverage.

The presentations can be viewed here.