Health

Tireless advocate for dementia and senior uni-student awarded OAM

Val Fell, an active ambassador for the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), Dementia Australia and the Council on the Aging (COTA), has been awarded the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors.

An inadequate campaign for the rights of the elderly, Fell joined OPAN’s National Older Persons Reference Group (NOPRG) in 2020.

“Val has been an exceptionally strong voice for elderly care reform and for elderly people who are not online,” said OPAN CEO Craig Gear.

“I just can not exaggerate their contribution in this space.”

In January, Fell was appointed to the Senior Citizens’ Board of Trustees.

In her ‘free time’, Fell is studying for a Bachelor of Dementia Care at the University of Tasmania to enable her to provide the latest evidence and research on care to her support group. At 93, she is the oldest person at the university in Australia.

“Val’s commitment to aging well and refusing to accept what she jokingly described as her ‘expectation date’ has been an inspiration to me and countless others,” Gear said.

“Val’s passion for improving people’s lives is a constant reminder that you’re never too old or too young to make a difference.”

Fell said, “this is extra special for me to receive a Queen’s Birthday Honor in the year of the Platinum Anniversary. I was there on shore to see her coronation in 1953, so it’s a bit of a full circle.”

Fell is currently participating in the CogSCAN project at UNSW, comparing the performance of four prominent cognitive assessment tools. She is also working on a project with NeurRA on hearing and dementia.

“Research is needed to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers,” she said.

Fell formed the inaugural Illawarra Dementia Forum and a local Dementia Carers Support Group – both of which are still in operation – in 2010 when her husband, Ian, moved into a nursing home.

She continues as the organizer of the annual Illawarra Dementia Forum in Wollongong, delivering a program of highly regarded research, experienced experience and offering best practices in dementia care to the Illawarra and beyond.

Fell has also been active in supporting the release of COVID-19 vaccine to older Australians.

For information or support regarding elderly care, please call the Advocacy Network for the Elderly on 1800 700 600 or visit opan.org.au.

Image Credit: © stock.adobe.com/au/JakubJirsák

Tireless advocate for dementia and senior uni-student awarded OAM

Source link Tireless advocate for dementia and senior uni-student awarded OAM

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