Health and ageing are closely entwined, so it’s important to ensure Australia’s ageing population maintains a high level of health. Experts say that a greater national focus is required to ensure ongoing good health among the ageing.
Taking part in a recent panel discussion in Brisbane titled Nourishing Australia’s Ageing Population, principal scientist in strategy and foresight at the Commonwealth Science and industrial Research Organisation, Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, said negative attitudes toward Australia’s elderly population were limiting efforts to encourage and facilitate healthy ageing.
“If Australia’s over-65 age group were seen as an asset to society, attitudes would shift and we’d see greater innovation from industry and new solutions,” Hajkowicz said.
Head of rheumatology at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, professor David Hunter commented that osteoarthritis of the hand is particularly common among older people, and activities such as tying shoelaces, opening our food or using a knife or fork are incredibly difficult and painful. The panel also had concerns around the lack of access to healthy nutritious food for seniors, and that it was vital that “in hospital or an aged-care facility, every meal should be an opportunity for patients to consume maximum nutrition.”
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