Ageing ? what are you doing?
Southern Cross University's first Professor of Aged Services says it is not your years that are important but what you are doing with your years.
Dr Colleen Cartwright took up her new position this week as the foundation BCU Neville Spear chair in Aged Services, and the director of the Aged Services Learning and Research Collaboration (ASLaRC), based at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus.
Uniquely placed in the centre of a major retirement area, she said ASLaRC provided a great opportunity to involve people outside the university as well as drawing together many different strands of research.
She said increasing numbers of fit older people were a sign of success and although planning for their numbers was needed, it was important to resist portraying the ageing population as a demograph- ic time bomb.
"Other countries have aged a lot faster than Australia and we can learn from them," she said.
Demonstrating the economic importance of research into ageing, Professor Cartwright said Access Economics had shown that a billion dollars would be saved if the onset of each case of Alzheimers disease could be delayed by just five months. She has extensive research and teaching experience in public health and aged care.
The chair in Aged Services has been significantly funded by the Bananacoast Community Credit Union (BCU) as part of its commitment to the North Coast community. It has been named after BCU's founding general manager Neville Spear in recognition of his work in promoting the credit union's philosophy of supporting the community.