As the year closes, it is always rewarding to look back and consider our achievements as well as plan the next year.
This last year has seen NARI establish new initiatives, complete projects and introduce new research collaborations. All this contributes to the breadth and depth of our work, as well as the impact we are making on behalf of all older Australians
Many of our highlights are outlined in our annual report but among the most significant this year was the reach of our research program into health reform, physical activity, falls prevention, pain, models of care, healthy ageing and technology: Over 60 projects underway, two NHMRC projects and five major government projects through the Dementia and Aged Care Services Innovation program.
This research, together with past research, has formed the basis of NARI submissions into the Victorian Government’s Royal Commission into mental health, where we have raised the profile of older people’s mental health needs, often poorly considered in mental health policy and services, and to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Internationally, we are growing collaborations through the International Longevity Centre (ILC) Global Alliance, one on long term care and the other on the positive aspects of caregiving. We have new partnerships in India and China with The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) and Peking University Institution of Mental Health and have strengthened our ties with University College London.
I am especially proud when our work is taken up by policy makers and service providers. An example of this is our elder abuse ecological framework which has been taken up by the Attorney General’s department as a framework for their report on “Insights into vulnerabilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and over”, and as part of a range of resources for health professionals developed by Caxton Legal Service and by the Western Australian government.
In the year ahead, we will develop a new strategic plan. We will seek input from our key partners and stakeholders in its development which will focus on impact. We want to see better usage of existing data and new research to inform health and aged care policy and practice and developing a platform to enable this to occur will be our principle aim.
I would like to thank the NARI Board for their continued commitment and support for NARI’s work, the Executive team, the researchers and the research support team, all of whom contribute to the achievement of NARI’s aims and objectives.
I also thank you, our supporters, who help us with our research, who donate to our work, and who are our advocates. We could do not do our work without you.
May I wish you all a peaceful festive season and happy 2020.