Aged care clients are to educate the community about the sector.
The University of Wollongong and Illawarra Retirement Trust have launched a joint two-year project to create an aged care teaching, learning and research community in the region.
The program is made possible through a $587,000 grant from the Australian Department of Health and Ageing.
It is one of the first in the country to offer seminars, lectures and workshops presented by aged care clients, aged care staff, university teachers and researchers.
Director Professor Richard Fleming said the project recognised the ‘‘importance of life-long learning’’ and the contribution older people can make to society.
The iTRACS project will allow UOW nursing, exercise physiology, dietetics and psychology students to gain placements at IRT facilities.
It will also create career pathways into aged care for allied health practitioners with the aim of providing holistic care for clients.
Prof Fleming said a research program would be set up, focusing on evaluating evidence-based and innovative approaches to care.
‘‘The findings of this project will be developed into a model for aged care services provision to not only benefit IRT residents, but the aged care community as a whole,’’ IRT chief executive Nieves Murray said.
‘‘We are excited to be partnering with UOW on this project and creating a strong aged care learning and research environment.’’