Select a research area from the adjacent list

Aged Care

Information : Online Articles

aged careAs Australia's population ages, the care of our elderly citizens becomes more of a priority for public policy and funding.  Healthcare, accommodation and community services are overlapping matters for consideration.  Should the community provide housing and support for the elderly, and to what standard of living?  Should they be entitled to the same range of healthcare options as young people, or should scarce healthcare resources be focused on those who are economically productive or the most potential quality years of life?  It is accepted in Australia that we have a responsibility to care for the elderly and frail, but how is this best done?  What about a user-pays system, with a safety net for the very poorest?  Should the elderly be cared for in their own homes for as long as possible, or in communities or institutions?  Is it about what's best for them as individuals, or what's best for us as a community – or some combination of both?  This raises difficult matters of needs assessment and funding allocation. 

A central concern is how best to care for those with high needs, and those who cannot make their own decisions or communicate well.  Dementia care, an increasing need in Australia, raises the question of how to respond to and care for those who are experiencing changes to their brain function, cognition, memory, personality, independence and ability.  Balancing safety and freedom, paternalism and autonomy, and how best to care for the elderly are all important topics for bioethics debate.