A unique research centre to explore, develop and implement new approaches to aged care has opened in Adelaide.
Aged care Research and Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA) is the nation's first dedicated centre to provide resources and assistance to the aged care workforce to deliver best practice care and support for older Australians.
Conceived by Flinders University in conjunction with aged care consultancy firm Wells Advisory, it will work directly with older people, their families and care providers to ensure research is translated directly and immediately into practice.
It is funded through a three-year $34 million federal government investment with a view to being self-sufficient by June 2024.
Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Robert Saint said the issues across aged care that emerged from the recent royal commission shocked and disturbed Australians.
"We can and must do better in supporting the dignity, care and wellbeing of older Australians, and ARIIA represents a whole new approach to achieving that,"' Professor Saint said.
"There has never been a greater need for the unique care and support older people require.
"By 2053, a quarter of our population will be aged 65 or over, with reliance on these services only increasing in the decades to come."
With funding to invest directly in areas of need, the new centre will be able to make immediate changes based on its research findings.
Its priorities include issues associated with dementia, restorative care and rehabilitation services and social isolation.
Director Sue Gordon said the centre had been given three years to make a difference and was already distributing grant funding to priority areas.
"By bringing together world-leading researchers, industry experts and older people themselves, ARIIA provides a unique opportunity to address the needs of older Australians through the co-design, development, and testing of essentially anything that research identifies as making life easier for older generations," Professor Gordon said.
"And perhaps even more importantly, ARIIA will translate research outcomes into real-world solutions with an efficiency and immediacy previously unheard of.
"No longer will valuable research evidence be left to gather dust on the shelves."
The centre also has the support of 73 collaborative partners including consumer advocacy and representative groups, aged care service providers, research organisations, commercial partners, social enterprise and workforce development organisations and the South Australian government.
Australian Associated Press