A likely biomarker for autism spectrum disorder, national platform for online dementia support, and evidence-based app to facilitate easy nutritional meals are some of many exciting projects to be furthered by the new Caring Futures Institute, launched in Adelaide on 13 August 2019.
Based at Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the Caring Futures Institute is the first research hub in Australia fully dedicated to the study of self-care and caring solutions to transform how we care for ourselves and others.
“Caring is fundamental to any society but we need to do better, particularly in the context of our ageing populations, chronic illness, rising health care costs and the opportunities presented from advancing technology,” says Professor Alison Kitson, Vice-President of Flinders University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and inaugural leader of the Caring Futures Institute.
“The Caring Futures Institute is focused on better care across the lifespan – developing solutions with partners and end-users to deliver societal and economic benefits,” Professor Kitson says.
The Caring Futures Institute is based on four themes:
- Better systems – in health, ageing, social care systems and services
- Better lives – focused on self-care, health and wellbeing
- Better care – including caring, supportive, restorative and palliative interventions
- Better communities – generating social inclusion through co-design and collaboration
Its initial partners include the South Australian government, the Heart Foundation, Cancer Council, CSIRO, Flinders Foundation, aged care providers, multicultural community organisations and many more.
Professor Kitson says the Institute heralds a suite of new research with outcomes that will transform health.
“Through the Institute we will be able to bring partners together to start to tackle some of our most stubborn problems. Often care and the people who do it are the invisible partners in health and social care research and indeed in many of our health and social care systems and businesses.
“But you can’t have cure without care. And you can’t have high performing health systems or businesses if you don’t understand how to deliver appropriate evidence-based care.”