Inspired ageing in regional Australia: CSU symposium

Inspiring ageing in regional Australia

Two internationally recognised experts in inspired ageing will headline a symposium for communities across regional Australia hosted by Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga.

The Inspire Ageing in Rural Communities: Together We Can Make a Difference symposium hosted by CSU for the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) runs from 8–10 August at the CSU Convention Centre in Wagga Wagga.

“The symposium cements Charles Sturt University’s role as a leader in collaborating with aged care facilities and services, in aged care research and in developing innovations for ageing people in Australia, particularly in regional communities,” said Maree Bernoth, conference co-convenor and associate professor of nursing in the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health.

“We include and empower older people in what we do. Indeed, older people will present their stories at the symposium, just as they are part of our research and help develop our teaching materials for our students.”

Prominent aged care researcher, Professor Joe Ibrahim, will speak at the symposium, focusing on unexpected deaths in aged care. Professor Ibrahim is an academic at Monash University and an expert in the quality of clinical care, aged care, performance measurement, patient safety and the influence of climate change on the aged in our communities.

Two films will be shown in association with the event at the Forum 6 Cinema complex in Wagga Wagga on 8 August.

Professor Ibrahim will host and speak on one film being shown – Dignity of risk – which is focused on unexplained deaths in residential aged care. The second film, Together we inspire and create, will show the creative power group artwork can have in residential aged care.

Professor John Pollaers will speak about the recently announced outcomes of the federal aged care taskforce which examined staffing in aged care. After the session, he will meet with the audience and develop a plan to encourage more aged care workers to move to rural and remote Australian towns.

After a successful career in human resource development, Professor Pollaers is currently working across governments to help reform vocational education and training for those working in aged care. He is a passionate advocate for education and training, the care of older Australians, and including more people with disabilities in work and training.

Conference co-convenor and CSU Associate Professor Marguerite Bramble said, “In my clinical chair role at Catholic Healthcare, I am working with staff who have passion, purpose and a singular commitment to their residents and families.

“Through this forum we will be showcasing their innovative work, which aims to bring the best to residents’ lives within the rich tapestry of a rural community.”

Other noteworthy events during the Inspire Ageing in Rural Communities symposium include:

* the launch of OPTEACH by Associate Professor Bernoth, a website that provides resources to encourage and support educators to include older people in their teaching, as well as resources for older people showing them what it’s like to be included in educating younger generations

* a presentation of extensive activities in aged care in rural and regional settings being undertaken by Associate Professor Bramble.

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