China calling

Our Deputy Director Debra O’Connor visited China last year to learn more about how the Chinese were engaging in aged care, and to identify avenues for NARI to share its applied research expertise.

The visit was part of a recent Victorian Government aged trade mission and was followed by an Australian China International Aged Care Summit hosted by Austrade.

By 2030 800,000 older people in Beijing will be facing the consequences of the ‘one child policy’ with consequent lack of family based care. Nevertheless, the Chinese Government’s aim is to ensure 90% of older people are cared for at home and 7% in the community and 3% in aged care beds.

As Debra O’Connor said: “There is therefore a major focus on building a strong home-based care system. The Chinese also recognise the need to address social isolation and mental health issues and to include older people in social life.”

The mission highlighted how NARI’s research strengths can be used in an international setting, particularly in healthy ageing programs, technology-based physical activity programs and education and postgraduate training.

“We will follow up on a number of opportunities that have emerged since the trade mission, including a potential training consortium,” said Ms O’Connor.