Interview with the Minister - Research and development funding

Over 90% of Australians wish to remain in their own home as they age, increasing the need for support services and assisted living technologies. Many countries facing the ageing population challenges are starting to develop the technology required to provide ageing-in-place support but what funding has the Federal Government committed to such research and development?

Over 90% of Australians wish to remain in their own home as they age, increasing the need for support services and assisted living technologies. Many countries facing the ageing population challenges are starting to develop the technology required to provide ageing-in-place support but what funding has the Federal Government committed to such research and development?

Q. Is there any planned funding for research and development of technology to assist with ageing-in-place?

Response provided by a spokesperson for the Hon. Mark Butler, Minister for mental Health and Ageing.

Between 2000-2010, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded $164.1 million in injury-related research. In the same timeframe, funding of $994.8 million was spent on ageing research. The data is not divided into mechanical vs behavioural vs basic science etc, but is available online here:
Injury related research
Ageing data

The NHMRC would welcome grant applications for research that assists the development of technology to assist ageing in place within existing grant schemes.

YOURLifeChoices comment
This is one area where a more proactive approach is required to combat the economic fall out of an ageing population who require support to remain in their own homes as they age. Qualified nurses are leaving the field of aged care and newly qualified personnel are refusing to work in the field due to the lack of acknowledgement for the outstanding work they do and the poor remuneration they receive. This shortfall of support care will result in more family members becoming carers, taking them away from the workforce.

Technology can not only assist by supporting staff who work in the field and helping families monitor their loved ones but can also prevent falls and injuries which are a costly drain on health service resources.

Australia has the opportunity to invest in such technologies and the health care of its ageing population rather than just sit back and wait for other countries to develop the technology which we then import and pay a premium for. Simple economics surely?

Read YOURLifeChoices report from this year’s Silver Summit in Las Vegas for more information on the technology which is already available in other countries and innovations under development.





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