Global standards can benefit ageing societies and the wellbeing of older citizens, an upcoming conference on ageing will hear.

Global Community Resourcing director of projects and research Anne Livingstone said international standards could ensure best practice for aged care services and systems in ageing societies around the world.

“We live in a global society and we trade globally. We export workers, import workers and we sell goods and services around aged and community care globally so more and more societies are looking for applications of standards that can apply across countries,” Ms Livingstone told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Ms Livingstone sits on a technical committee at the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) that is developing a standard for Ageing Societies.

The standard, which is also known as TC314, focuses on dementia-inclusive communities, ageing workforces and carer-inclusive organisations.

“We’re looking at developing an international standard that can be applied to any nation interested in more inclusive societies,” Ms Livingstone said.

Anne Livingstone

Ms Livingstone is co-facilitating a free workshop at the Australian Association of Gerontology conference in Sydney next week about the standard being developed for ageing societies.

The dementia-inclusive communities is using original work undertaken in Britain around dementia-friendly communities while the ageing workforce component has a particular focus on aged care providers, she said.

“They’ve been looking at things that are particularly relevant to aged and community care providers, including issues around remote working, digitised workplaces and ergonomically-designed and aged-friendly workplaces,” Ms Livingstone said.

Carer-inclusive organisations focus on older people who work and have care responsibilities for parents and grandchildren, Ms Livingstone said.

This is for organisations that may want to employ these people and aims to help them look at their structure and areas such as flexible work hours, she said.

Ms Livingstone said more awareness is needed about the importance and potential of international standards, which involve many years of work globally scanning best proactice elements.

“Often international standards are improving the outlook because its built on global expertise and global input.

“But so many of the standards that are currently around are not put into practice as they should be because there is not the awareness that the standards exist.”

To increase awareness, “people need to focus strongly on promoting standards and the role each country has,” she said.

The Australian Association of Gerontology conference takes place at the International Convention Centre Sydney on 5 – 8 November. Find out more here.

Australian Ageing Agenda is a media partner of the AAG.

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