05 Jan 2016

Psychology Group Sessions in Residential Care

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As a registered psychologist, my long-term passion and objective is achieving better mental health outcomes in residential care. This area is often overlooked by other psychologists, due to limited training and employment opportunities in the field, being neglected by federal government and funding bodies, and being underestimated by the general population. Research indicates that depression, anxiety and adjustment disorder are highly prevalent in residential care, and are exacerbated by poor physical health, social isolation and limited support networks. ..

19 Dec 2015

Lets go to China… International Aged Care Summit 2015

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Last month I attended the Australia-China International Aged Care Summit in Beijing. The event was held over two days 16-17 November 2015, attended by 150 Australian representatives and 400 local representatives. Day one covered a number of fantastic presentations from both Chinese and Australian speakers (reform of the aged care industry, opportunities to the health and aged care sector, demand on aged care services, opportunities and challenges for cooperation in the aged care sector and then I attended the skill development and training sub forum). Day two included a visit to three sites. Communication was little difficult, I don’t speak Chinese and very few locals spoke English. ..

13 Aug 2015

Why should we engage with families of those in residential care?

I WILL never forget entering an aged care facility in Sydney some years ago and observing several relatives in the lounge room making cups of tea or coffee for themselves and sitting quietly alone deep in their thoughts. I note some did this before the visits, others after. It would have been difficult observing a loved one’s health declining and feeling helpless and unable to improve the circumstance. It is not necessarily something that you would want to talk to a stranger about. Often those emotions are private. Being a carer of a loved one who is in residential care can be rewarding but at times it could be frightening, overwhelming, sad and frustrating. Last week at a Carer Information Session, attended by over 30 relatives from various facilities throughout Sydney, each was asked to write a word on the board to describe how they felt about being a carer. The written words were not dissimilar to the emotions mentioned above. One elderly gentleman whose wife is in a dementia specific unit wrote ALL OF THE ABOVE. Clearly, with the declining health in their loved ones who are no longer able to live independently, families have great need for support in dealing with their own emotions and understanding how best they can help. ..