A passion for learning and working with people to ensure the best outcomes has steered David through a rich and diverse working life. His background in Psychology and Anthropology has led to a lifelong interest in the areas of Senior Living and Ageing, Wellness, Human Services, Quality Management, Acute and Primary Health Care, Mental Health and Disability Support. This dedication to excellence has endured throughout this journey and his dedication to the pursuit of excellence and implementation of Standards lies at the heart of Standards Wise International Australia.
David has worked closely with government and organisations within Australia and Internationally on standards, service development, quality, risk and governance exemplary practice. His passion for multi-generational and multi-cultural inclusion is evidenced in his work internationally across diverse communities, including local indigenous groups.
David developed a deep understanding of Human Service Delivery and Accreditation Standards working directly and in-directly for more than three decades as an advisor and futurist for not-for-profit and for profit providers, governments and peak bodies.
David is a well-respected and sought-after expert on Human Service Standards across multiple sectors, both in Australia and Internationally.
As an entrepreneur, David is constantly seeking new ways to improve efficiencies and standards in Human Services, by providing thought leadership, encouraging a focus on person centred approaches, encouraging the use of innovative technology, and supporting co-operation and the communication of ideas globally.
Moving from the old models to new possibilities: A set of internationally informed standards for designing and operating integrated senior living communities with other generations and help at home and social support for promoting active ageing and wellbeing.
David Stevens, Standards Wise International, United Kingdom
The seismic shift towards senior living communities and help at home is not new, but the capacity of standards to catch up and more importantly help inform and safeguard elders in new developments and models is crucial to cement a culture of excellence and advocacy for the human rights of seniors, particularly for those with fewer resources and vulnerable to abuse and stigmatisation. Although there is the desire to age well in the safety of one’s home and the community or in purpose built community, not as a second-class citizen but as a continuing independent, vital and active member of society even for those most frail.
Our analysis of the situation through sponsored global research and regular international expert forums, we believe this is a critical point in history to bring about positive change with some major influences being:
- Development of integrated housing models, home care and wellness services for seniors has been a growing phenomenon for at least the last 30 years in Western developed countries (since the late 1980’s).
- Covid-19 raising serious questions about the current aged and social care model (not commitment and sacrifice of the valued workers and industry leaders), setting up the opportunity for a total reset on a scale unimaginable before, with new ideas and approaches, including the reuse and regeneration of empty city centre spaces.
- People are living longer, with improved medical care, contemplating the stages of later life, including questioning what a sustainable model of housing and access to services (as required) could look like.
- Widespread preference for home care and integrated senior living, rather than moving to an aged care residential setting or segregated community.
- Advances in assistive technology and artificial intelligence have been profound and are now available on a mass scale in an affordable price range.
- Expected increase from approximately 1 billion to 2 billion people over 65 years by 2050 (United Nations 2021.
The actions we take now should be bold and support change for this and future generations to a more dynamic model underpinned by a pursuit of excellence and inclusion of all elders, not just those with monetary means or connections. Access and equity for all, without compromising quality and safety, and human rights.
As a result of these circumstances, Standards Wise International (SWI) has developed through international experts and local in-country Senior Living Ambassadors a new set of Senior Living Standards for purpose-built integrated senior living communities and Home Care Standards which promote and focus in-depth on areas other standards just touch on, such as:
- Fostering active ageing and contributions from seniors,
- Quality , access and equity for those with fewer resources,
- Human rights
- Intergenerational living, and interdependency,
- Continuity of support from low to highly intensive services at home
- Cultural safety and inclusion
- Safeguards to avoid abuse and neglect,
- Integration with younger generations,
- Exemplar practice,
- Continuous improvement,
- Pandemic preparedness, safety,
- Alignment with international benchmarks
The senior living standards have been implemented and enable our approach to stand out and reflect world’s best practice.