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A new South Australian research project will explore the key health impacts, needs, experiences, and barriers to Forgotten Australians accessing aged care.

More than 500,000 people, collectively known as ‘Forgotten Australians’, were placed in institutional or out-of-home care as children.

According to lead researcher Dr Monica Cations, from Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health, ‘Forgotten Australians’, having been overlooked by institutional care in their youth, require more personalised aged care due to common aged care practices and environments being unable to adequately support this cohort in their later years.

Dr Cations has received $50,000 in Strategic Research Grants from the Australian Association of Gerontology Trust and the Flinders Foundation to conduct partnership research investigating the health impacts, needs, barriers and contributing factors to ‘Forgotten Australians’ accessing suitable aged care.

Her team plans to develop evidence-based recommendations for aged care providers outlining practical strategies to introduce trauma-informed care into aged care.

Industry partners in the research, Helping Hand Aged Care, have been awarded $500,000 in federal government funding to roll out training, tools and new programs for ‘Forgotten Australians’ based on the research recommendations.

The research will involve conducting focus groups with service providers and in-depth interviews with older ‘Forgotten Australians’, their families and friends.

“We want to understand their experiences and expectations about aged care and how their experience of institutional care as a child may impact this,” Dr Cations said.

“Based on what we learn, we will establish a priority setting partnership with older ‘Forgotten Australians’ to develop tangible recommendations for aged care providers about how to implement inclusive and responsive care for this group, as well as set priorities for researchers and policymakers.”

‘Forgotten Australians’ and their families who wish to take part in the study can email project co-ordinator Diana O’Neil on