Education and capacity building
Education in ageing is currently failing to meet its objectives. Many physicians and family doctors remain unfamiliar with key principles and practices of geriatric medicine. The specialist nursing skills required to support older people are under-recognised, with implications for recruitment and retention in services for these patients. Allied health professionals similarly are largely unprepared for working with older persons, and their potential contributions to contribute to care with this population underutilised in hospital and community settings. Furthermore, inter-professional education, which has an emerging evidence base in the context of geriatric care, is neither widely-employed nor rigorously evaluated. Transdisciplinary heath practice has been identified as necessary to achieve improvements in older people’s health. Therefore, the translation aspect of this project will explore models of transdisciplinary care.
Our education and capacity building stream is motivated to ensure that all those who plan and provide care for older people understand the complexities of ageing and are equipped to meet the resulting challenges with a holistic and individualised response. Our team is uniquely placed to achieve these goals. Members of the leadership group have already established or developed educational initiatives at local, national and international levels. Uniting this expertise, with enrichment from other identified stakeholders, will enable us to investigate gaps in current teaching and training, categorise the barriers to change and recommend strategies to ensure that effective practices and essential skills are shared, particularly the idea of consumers at the centre of care.