Australia’s ageing population has been a popular topic in the media for a while now, particularly of late. From housing affordability, infrastructure and medical care, the theme has our policy makers and politicians assessing the current and future pressures.
This year’s Federal Budget introduced measures aimed at easing the long-term challenges of an ageing population. These include the extension of the Commonwealth Home Support Program at a cost of $5.5 billion over 2 years, $1.9 million for a strategy to grow the aged care workforce, downsizing initiatives that allow those aged over 65 to sell their home and put up to $300,000 of the proceeds into superannuation, and $8.3 million over 3 years for Primary Health Networks for palliative care.
While there’s no quick-release valve for the ageing population issue, the AIHW is working with others to assist in creating lasting policies, services and facilities for the aged-care sector. This effort is evident in our most recent project—a website to be launched later in the year that will provide comprehensive data and information on aged care: GEN.
The funds to develop this new aged care data website, which focuses on giving users access to vital information, were provided to the AIHW in 2016 by the Department of Health. GEN will expand the current achievements of the National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse—specifically, by increasing awareness, accessibility and usability of aged care data; and by supporting the Australian Government’s position on transparency and independence in policy research and evaluation.
The name for the website came from a British military slang expression used during World War II; meaning to ‘brief’ someone or to ‘study’ something. It’s a shortening of the term ‘general reconnaissance’. ‘Gen’ was used both as a verb and a noun.
Examples: What’s the gen? Get genned up on the situation.
The AIHW is focused on collecting and analysing people-centred data. We want to help our users by delivering simple, easily understood data-based products that inform decisions and help deliver better health and wellbeing outcomes for ageing Australians,’ said Louise York, Head of the Community Services Group at the AIHW.
Over the coming year, the Institute will focus on strengthening our relationships with stakeholders and key user groups for GEN, which consist of experts, including researchers and clinicians; professionals, such as Australian and state government policy makers; and members of the media and the general public.
If you would like to hear more about GEN, contact the AIHW Strategic Communications Unit <[email protected]>.