Ageing is fast becoming a global phenomenon with nearly every continent experiencing rapid increases in numbers and proportions of older people. The fastest growing population of all is the oldest old, those who are likely to be most in need of care. This creates difficulties for resource-poor countries, which lack care infrastructures to meet rising demand for elder care. Low and middle income countries can learn from successes and setbacks of the developed world and offer their own lessons for the rest of the world in caring for older populations. IAHSA can serve as the forum through which this is done, by creating peer networks so that service providers can learn from one another by sharing innovations and best practices. We in IAHSA need to better engage the developing world going forward…this will be the focus for my term of office.
Stephen Judd from Hammond Care, Australia, gave a brilliant presentation entitled “Driven by Purpose : charities that make a difference”. In his opinion the biggest single challenge or issue is not finances,marketing, workforce challenges, or quality of care, but rather the fact that many organisations don’t know who they are or why they exist. It is an identity crisis. An appreciation of ownership should define why you do what you do. Important is moral ownership. Who is the community to which you have to give account and why? If you don’t know who you are or why you exist, you have few reference points on what you won’t do and what you don’t do. If you don’t know your identity, something or someone else will determine what you do! Step back from the what and how, the urgent, and think about the important..re-evaluate, reinform and reinvent organisational purpose. Much food for thought for ngo’s…get his book with the same title.