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Healthy Ageing Research – Developments and Lessons By Hal Kendig Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sydney National Symposium on Ageing Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Healthy Ageing Research – Developments and Lessons By Hal Kendig Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sydney National Symposium on Ageing Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Healthy Ageing Research – Developments and Lessons By Hal Kendig Faculty of Health Sciences University of Sydney National Symposium on Ageing Research ‘The Australian Research Agenda: Priorities and Challenges?’ Canberra 24 September, 2003

2 Overview 1. What is Ageing Research? 2. Healthy Ageing Policy Contexts 3.The Healthy Ageing Research Review 4.National Research Priorities 5.The PMSEIC Report 6.Issues and Directions

3 1. What is Ageing Research? - Individual and Population Ageing are Fundamental - Older People Focused – Their Views Represented - Interconnectedness of Issues in Old Age - Life Course, Generations, and Social Change - Environmental as well as Individual Dimensions - NOT just what happens ON older people - Ageing Research Features: -Connections to End Point Users of Knowledge -Bio-psycho-social Approaches -Multi-disciplinary Collaboration

4 Why Research? Ideas, information & purposeful change Balancing a biased base of knowledge n What do older people want? n What can be improved? n What works to improve things? n Are we going forward? n Who misses out?

5 2. Policy Context National Strategy for an Ageing Australia An Older Australia, Challenges and Opportunities for all The Hon Kevin Andrews, MP, Minister for Ageing, 2002 Healthy Ageing involves: n Disease protection and optimal well-being n Mentally, physically, and socially active n Maximise capacities to participate & contribute n Government, business, communities & individuals ‘Research will underpin the National Strategy for an Ageing Australia and fine tune its implementation. We need to understand and reassess what is happening as the population ages. A good evidence base will support the policy and administrative decisions that will need to be made by a broad range of individuals and organisations.’ pxi

6 Healthy Ageing Programs National Healthy Ageing Strategy (Commonwealth, States, and Territories, 2000) n Community attitudes to ageing and older people n Health and wellbeing for older Australians n Employment and community activities n Financial & other support… realistic and fair n Appropriate living environments & communities n Appropriate and affordable care and support

7 3. A review of healthy ageing research in Australia By Hal Kendig, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney Gary Andrews, Centre for Ageing Studies, Flinders University Colette Browning, School of Public Health, La Trobe University Susan Quine, Dept. of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney Amanda Parsons, Health and Ageing Research Program, University of Sydney This report was prepared for the Community Services Ministers’ Advisory Council, 2000 Distributed by the Office for an Ageing Australia, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra

8 2.The Healthy Ageing Review n Commonwealth Office for Older Australians (for Community Services Ministers Advisory Council) n Identify policy information needs for healthy ageing n Review available research n Consider present and future players * researchers * policy makers * NGOS n Recommend funding and other strategies * for research * application and dissemination n Timing: March to June 2000 project Publication 2002 August

9 Methods n Ongoing Commonwealth and Team briefings n Telephone interviews – policy, program, advocacy groups  State consultations with key actors  Web questionnaire for researchers  Ageing research directories n Project workshops

10 Information Needs: Users Views n Government Policy and Program Managers n Service Providers n Advocacy Groups  Older Populations and Carers  Private Sector  Wider Community

11 Barriers to Use of Research: Users n Imposition of political imperatives n Lack of timeliness n Academic publications unavailable n Researchers misunderstand policy processes n Policymakers do not understand research n Inadequate analyses n Poor presentations

12 Research Providers and their Views n Traditional Individual Approach n Research Networks n State Centres n Research Institutes

13 Barriers in policy applications: Researchers - Insufficient research funding - Lack of trained researchers - Poor collaborative networks - Insufficient priority by funders - Lack of government commitment to planning - Limited application of research findings - Lack of recognition of the value of research

14 Key Recommendations n Ageing Priority in the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council n A National Institute and Dedicated Research Funding Program n A Network of State Centres n Longitudinal Studies n Commonwealth-State Action?

15 4. National Research Priorities n Prime Minister’s December 2002 Announcement n Purpose/Criteria –Vision for research focusing on key challenges for Australia. – Build on our strengths while seeking new opportunities in emerging areas. – Strengthen collaboration between research bodies and with industry, and – Build critical mass of excellence in those key research areas. n Four Priority Areas – Environmental Sustainability – Promoting Health – Frontier Technologies for Industries, and – Safeguarding Australia

16 National Research Priority: Promoting and Maintaining Good Health n Promoting good health and preventing disease, particularly among young and older Australians n Priority Goals 1. A healthy start to life 2. Ageing well, ageing productively Developing new and better social and medical strategies to reduce mental and physical degeneration based on greater knowledge and understanding of the causes of disease and degeneration of mind and body. 3. Preventive healthcare

17 5. PMSEIC Promoting Healthy Ageing in Australia n Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering, and Innovations Council (July 2003) n Vision: An additional 10 years of healthy and productive life expectancy by 2050. n Enhancing Research to Promote Healthy Ageing - A National Network for Healthy Ageing Research - Longitudinal Studies of Healthy and Productive Ageing

18 6. Issues & Directions n Priority for useful knowledge n Balance of fundamental, priority-driven, and development and evaluation (who decides?) n Involve end point users in forming and doing research as well as using it n Dissemination and application are essential n Quality of research/ers and Ongoingness n Optimism (but when?)

19 Conclusions: Big Questions n Can researchers demonstrate value and usefulness? n Can politicians and program managers think longer term? n Can Australians recognise the value of applied research for informed societal action?

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