The Summer Foundation seeks research partners to solve disability and aged care issue

Posted 1 year ago by Nicole Pope

The Summer Foundation is seeking partners to drive a sound evidence base and help resolve the issue of young people in nursing homes [Source:Shutterstock]
The Summer Foundation is seeking partners to drive a sound evidence base and help resolve the issue of young people in nursing homes [Source:Shutterstock]

The Summer Foundation has put a call out for partners to join its newly launched $1 million Competitive Research Grant program.

The foundation, which aims to achieve better outcomes for young people living in residential aged care homes, is seeking expressions of interest from institutions, universities, Governments and private-sector organisations to drive a sound evidence base and help resolve the issue.

Chief of Research and Innovation at the Summer Foundation, Dr Di Winkler explains the important role research plays in finding age-appropriate housing options for young people with disability.

“We need high quality research across the aged care, disability, housing, hospitals and primary and community health systems,” she says.

“Our research will identify the factors that shape these systems, the pressure points, costs and potential opportunities for early intervention and catalytic change.”

The Summer Foundation is also looking for researchers who are early on in their career to work alongside the foundation.

“Our $1 million Competitive Research Grant program is designed to establish partnerships with universities and other institutions, which can leverage additional resources from those partners and seed fund strategic, high quality research that will attract substantial grant funding from other sources,” Ms Winkler says.  

Policy Manager at the Young People in Nursing Homes Alliance (YPINH), Alan Blackwood welcomes the announcement and says the solution is “about 20 years overdue.”

“We’ve [YPINH] had a major national focus for five years but we didn’t manage to get to the heart of the issue,” he explains.

“There is huge potential for the National Disability Insurance Scheme to have a huge impact on it but it’s not the whole picture as there are certainly issues around housing and access to health services, which requires a whole-of-Government initiative,” he says.

“Anything that shines a light to show evidence to the Government is warmly welcome.

“It’s a positive step to keep the spotlight on this issue.”

Mr Blackwood says it’s important to have evidence of the impact living in nursing homes has on younger young people with disability.

“It sounds like they’re [the Summer Foundation] working on a whole range of projects.”

Applications for the partnerships close on 21 September.

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