A successful conference on navigating the ageing journey
In August, over 70 people joined BDHP’s consumer forum, Navigating the Ageing Journey, at the Victoria Park Golf Course in Brisbane. They heard about age-friendly hospitals, dementia, exercise and legal rights. They also participated in a survey about what older people look for in their health service.
Professor Alison Mudge from the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital shared the latest research aimed at reducing the impact of hospital stays on older people. Professor Mudge explained this involves co-designing staff training and education with older people and changing the hospital culture to value older people. The Eat, Walk and Engage program is rolling out in 10 hospitals, aiming for 20% of Queensland hospitals to be age-friendly by 2020.
Professor Elizabeth Beattie spoke about the growing number of people diagnosed with dementia (currently 50 million worldwide) and living without effective long-term treatments. She said working with dementia patients is considered the least favourite work, undervaluing older people. She also outlined the difficulties and opportunities for the family of dementia sufferers. Families often bear the burden of caring for dementia sufferers, but there is support available.
CEO of UQ Health Care Darryl Grundy spoke about the benefits of exercise for older people. It can help them to get back to better health following a heart attack or illness. Exercise physiologists are generally younger people, so exercise programs also offer an intergenerational experience.
Lawyers from the Caxton Legal Centre used a set of scenarios to highlight the difficulties older patients may face in the hospital. They discussed capacity assessment, the principles of decision-making, and who makes decisions for patients. They also touched on dispute resolution.