The work of the National Ageing Research Institute is more important than ever during these difficult times, and I am pleased to share with you our 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. The Strategy captures our passion for making a difference to the lives of older people, and focusses specifically on impact.

I am proud of NARI’s significant contributions in recent months to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Our commissioned research on integrated models for care, health and housing, as well as national surveys on quality of care for people living in residential care, and home and respite care, were ground breaking. They will help shape and inform recommendations by the Commission for aged care reforms.

As you would be aware, NARI works closely with many residential aged care homes in the course of our research. We are dismayed by the impact of COVID-19 on residents and their families, but also on aged care workers who have faced unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

NARI is championing increased psychological support for people working in aged care. Our article in Pursuit Magazine, first highlighting the issue, drew wide support from the health and aged care sector. We have since developed tip sheets for aged care workers and managers, which provide strategies supporting mental health and wellbeing. I urge you to forward the tip sheets to anyone who could benefit – links are in this newsletter.

I was delighted recently to present world dementia expert Professor Gill Livingston for the inaugural NARI Director’s Public Lecture Series. She is Professor of Psychiatry and Older People at University College London, and led the Lancet Commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care.
Professor Livingston urges us to be ambitious about dementia prevention at all stages of life. If you missed the lecture, a recording and a Q&A on dementia prevention, is available on the NARI website.

Also available is a panel discussion I participated in to launch a significant Seniors Rights Victoria and NARI report on elder abuse: Seven Years of Elder Abuse Data in Victoria. The report is important because although there is a national prevalence study currently underway, to date there is very little data on elder abuse in Australia.

Panellists discussed elder abuse occurring within the family and some of the contributing factors affecting perpetrators. It was a thought provoking discussion and I commend the online recording to you. You can access the elder abuse report in this newsletter.

I am pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website! It has been many months in the making and you will find a fresh look and easy to access information.

Finally, it is with great sadness I acknowledge the passing last month of Zelma Riddell. Zelma was a long-standing and loyal research volunteer with NARI and great friend to many of us individually. She will be greatly missed. In recognition of Zelma’s contribution, we will name the room next to the NARI Building 9 Seminar Room, the Zelma Riddell room.

Professor Briony Dow

NARI Director