AAG Hot Topic 2022

How to achieve authentic co-design with and for older Australians

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need to reframe ageing through fresh and balanced perspectives and to address negative and ageist stereotypes. AAG members and others have noted the lack of evidence-based policy and practice related to ageing. What can we learn from others that have engaged in authentic co-design, both in Australia and internationally?

AAG’s Principles include an evidence-informed approach based on gerontological research, practice knowledge and the expertise of older people. With this approach in mind, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, governments at all levels and other stakeholders have highlighted the need for co-design.

image source: Overview of AAG research evidence review approaches

However, it is also apparent from the use of the term “co-design” that there is a lack of understanding of what it actually is. Indeed, AAG members who are experts in the latest co-design principles and approaches used in research have noted that:

  • People seem to be incorrectly using co-design to describe “consultation with” at any stage in a project/research.
  • There is the incorrect presumption that co-design is not possible with people who have limited or fluctuating cognitive abilities.
  • There is a lack of understanding of the breadth of international research evidence available on different co-design approaches document in the peer-reviewed academic literature.

The AAG 2022 Hot Topic focus is to contribute as an evidence-based voice in the discussions related to co-design. It will address co-design in various contexts including co-design of research and co-design of policy and practice. To achieve this, AAG will explore the principles and approaches to co-design that have been developed in other sectors to achieve impact.

This topic was drafted by the AAG Vic Division, refined by the AAG Policy team and approved by the AAG Board.

The 2022 Glenda Powell Travelling Fellow (GPTF) is a leading Australian expert who presents on the AAG Hot Topic, whilst travelling to at least three AAG Divisions (states and territories) during the year – keep an eye out for the announcement of this year’s GPTF.