Funding for innovative CareWest unit
Federal Member for Calare John Cobb and Orange aged care service provider CareWest hope a new Research and Innovation Unit will help improve inclusion and participation of older people in the community.
The formation of this innovative unit is being made possible thanks to $655,000 worth of Federal Government funding announced by Mr Cobb today under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant.
Mr Cobb hopes the unit will help break down the barriers faced by many elderly people in the community.
“CareWest will examine factors that lead to social isolation and work with older people, community groups, and business to identify ways to break down these barriers and improve community connectedness which is very important,” Mr Cobb said.
CareWest CEO Tim Curran added: “Social isolation is a growing issue for many older people and the importance of social interaction cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“The new Research and Innovation Unit will be involved in more than this one project, with plans for interrelated aged and disability care, children and family services, and community development initiatives and research.”
Headed by Dr Gregory Dresser, the Research and Innovation Unit will work with research partners Charles Sturt University, government agencies, community groups, and industry organisations to investigate and implement strategies to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities across the region.
“The unit is an exciting step and demonstrates the commitment of CareWest to uncovering and delivering the best possible individualised and community development services possible,” Dr Dresser said.
“During this first major project we will be examining loneliness and social isolation. This is far more than social misfortune, but rather a significant problem of health and happiness that contributes to the likelihood of depression, functional decline, early entry to hospitalisation and care, and higher levels of dependency.”
Mr Cobb said CareWest was one of 54 organisations across Australia that received funding under the Aged Care Service Improvement and Healthy Ageing Grant, sharing in more than $34 million.