Ageing Policy Conclusions

Successful baby boomer ageing (gerentolescence) pioneers for all, but effective and affordable reform needs to address dementia in the community and aged care facilities and end-of-life and new technology challenges. Key reforms pointed to are:

  • (i) Dementia-friendly communities to provide safe and active ageing in community - dementia- and community-friendly cities, walks, community gardens, transport, shops, etc. (Kalache 2013; Phillipson et al. 2016).
  • (ii) Dementia-friendly, safe and functional architecture for age care facilities - circular communal area radiating out to corridors with clear line of site to a central communal kitchen area and unobtrusive safety features and line of sight access to a circular garden (Fleming et al. 2010; Zeisel et al. 2003) - encouraging and enabling active and meaningful individual and community interactions.
  • (iii) Palliative care options and strategies that reflect palliative patient preferences and domains for finalising affairs with family and friends in their community of choice - usually at home and minimising carer and family distress (McCaffrey 2013; McCaffrey et al. 2014, 2015, 2016) such as use of medicinal cannabis in intractable pain palliative populations.
  • (iv) Research identifying better use of existing programmes and technology and pricing new technology appropriately (Pekarsky 2012, 2015; Eckermann and Pekarsky 2014) and;
  • (v) Improving health system quality of care within current budgets with robust net benefit maximising efficiency measures and funding mechanisms in monitoring and creating incentives in practice (Eckermann 2004; Eckermann and Coelli 2013).

A major challenge as ever is getting the community’s voice heard and having health systems serve community preferences not vested interests, as hilighted by Mooney (2012), where as he suggested in overcoming such vested interests there is a valuable role for citizen juries.

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