National award for book championing aged care

16 OCTOBER 2017

A national award has been bestowed on the publishers of a book by a CSU nursing academic and her editor.

Dr Maree BernothA national award has been bestowed on the publishers of a book by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) nursing academic and her editor.

The 2017 Educational Publishing Awards Australia awarded Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand with the Best Tertiary Student Resource award for Healthy Ageing and Aged Care edited by CSU's Associate Professor Maree Bernoth and Dr Denise Winkler.

Associate Professor of Nursing Maree Bernoth (pictured) is a lecturer and researcher in the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health in Wagga Wagga. Dr Winkler was an educational designer at CSU when they edited the book.

The award citation said, 'The richness of the videos and quality of the case studies (in Healthy Ageing and Aged Care) links the content to the real world and elevates and humanises this publication. The book puts people at the forefront. It gives the reader examples of how things play out in the world through a variety of media. Caring assessment and implications are focal points for the industry.'

The awards are significant because they are judged and voted for by educators around the country. In addition, the publishers also receive valuable feedback that allows them to continue to improve their products and service to help academics achieve the best educational outcomes for their students.

Professor Bernoth said Healthy Ageing and Aged Care links theory and practice, and engages students.

"The aim of the text is to make learning about ageing real and authentic," Professor Bernoth said.

"This is achieved by including older people and their stories in the text through words, videos and podcasts.

"We wanted to capture the hearts of the reader so that learning happens through the older person sharing their experiences of ageing. It is the co-production of knowledge by recognising that those who have aged successfully are the authorities on the subject, and they are generous and open enough to share their stories with the reader."

In editing the text, Professor Bernoth and Dr Winkler demonstrated their commitment to high quality education of health professionals, especially those who will be working with older people.

"As people aged over 65 are increasing in number, it is vital that we have a workforce prepared for the society they will be working with and supporting to live quality lives until their death," she said.

Professor Bernoth also noted that unfortunately, this concern for a skilled and well prepared workforce is inadequately addressed in the recently released Australian Government's Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017.

"Of the 38 recommendations made in the review, it is not until the final recommendation that staffing is mentioned," she observed.

"The review continues to maintain the current practice of leaving the staffing of the aged care sector to proprietors of aged care facilities and services. This is problematic as proprietors may or may not have the clinical knowledge and skills to determine the care needs of residents and the consequent skill mix of staff needed to provide quality care.

"Therefore, older people and their families will continue to experience the wide range of care provision − some of it arguably inadequate and unsatisfactory − that currently exists. This must change."

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Associate Professor Maree Bernoth.

Dr Winkler is currently a research assistant to several academics at CSU and at Swinburne University. She also has her own publishing company, Penchant Press International.

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