podcast Sep 18, 2019

Episode 5: Mental Health – Whose Responsibility? 

18 September, 2019


 In this episode Julie reviews the current trends in mental health in older people and discusses the importance of collaboration with health professionals, aged care providers and families to improve mental health outcomes for older people. Julie is passionate about the delivery of preventative measures to help with adjustment to an aged care environment and discusses how she licenses her group programs to aged care homes, where staff can be upskilled in running her signature award winning group program which promotes resilience and strengths. 


1:20  Julie discusses the difference between managing mental health conditions in younger people versus in older people 

3:00 Julie shares her early experiences in providing home consultations and the barriers that would prevent clients to achieve their goals

4:30 Additional supports that may be required for older...

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Episode 4 - Love to Live Angels Physical Activity and Entertainment

podcast Sep 11, 2019


Encouraging older people to increase their physical activity can be challenging. Today Julie talks to Michelle and Mike from Love to Live program about their passion and drive to boost physical activity and social connection with the elderly and their new project which involves training facilitators across Australia.

1:23 The design of the Love to Live Program and bringing entertainment and physical activity

2:22 Michelle explains the structure of the sessions

4:00 Michelle explains the concept behind the Love to Live program

6:04 The connection between low mood and participation in the program

7:20 Case Study – Graeme 

8:40 Mike explains the opportunity to become a licensee of the Love to Live Program

12:00 Overview of the training requirements to run the program

14:30 The importance of passion for aged care

16:30 Mike and Michelle explain the best ways to get in touch with them (and you can click on this link to get to their website)



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Episode 3 - Speech Pathology with Jenny Cole-Virtue

Uncategorized Sep 04, 2019


Many people often wonder what speech pathologists do and how their services are integrated into aged care. Today Julie interviews Jenny Cole-Virtue, Senior Speech Pathologists about her role in aged care. Jenny is passionate about assessing risks and safety of older adults.

1:10 Jenny explains the role of speech pathologists in aged care

2:20 Julie asks Jenny how it is determined who has an assessment with a speech pathologist

3:45 Jenny explains the importance of team work in aged care, involving staff and families of her clients

4:40 Jenny explains what is dysphagia and how it affects older people

5:50 Jenny shares a success story

7:15 The importance of regular reviews is discussed, as Jenny states that some clients can improve after hospital admission and their dietary intake can be expanded to include a larger variety and texture of food

11:00 How family can incorporate advice from speech pathologists in outings and the importance of regular contact between...

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Episode 2 - The Benefits of Art Therapy with Roxy Taylor

podcast Aug 29, 2019

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The benefits of art therapy have been demonstrated in a wide range of settings. Today, we discuss the role of art therapy in aged care with Roxy Taylor. Roxy shares with Julie her passion for helping older adults express themselves through art, regardless of their emotional wellbeing and physical health status.

1:20 Roxy briefly provides her background in as an art therapist

3:00 Roxy shares how suitable clients are selected for art therapy program

4:22 How shares how she works with other professionals and the importance of interdisciplinary referrals

4:55 How art therapy honours individuality of each client in art sessions

6:05 Roxy discusses the biggest challenge of working in aged care facilities

7:05 How Roxy incorporates mindfulness into the delivery of art therapy sessions

8:30 The influence of dementia in art sessions

8:55 How Roxy handles the initial...

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podcast Aug 21, 2019

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In the first episode Julie provides a brief overview of how the idea of this podcast came about and her background in aged care. She shares her passion for real and raw stories which represent the true reflection of the aged care work.


1:20 Julie briefly provides her background in aged care

2:05 What type of information this podcast offers

2:45 How guest interviews will contribute to the episodes

4:00 Not everyone who lives in aged care is emotionally unwell

4:45 Julie’s experience and background in aged care

5:45 The challenges Julie faced when she started in aged care

6:20 The improved trends

6:30 Raising awareness of the importance of wellbeing in late life

7:05 Services Julie offers to aged care organisations, allied health providers and families of older adults

9:30 The importance of preventative measures in supporting older adults to adjust to living in...

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How to move from disengagement to engagement in aged care?

engagement wellbeing Mar 12, 2019

Do you know how to move from disengagement to engagement?

How to move from isolation to engagement? 

How to replace loneliness with inclusion? 

The difference lies in exploring the "NO". By doing this you are opening up a new way of doing things with older adults and better understanding their barriers. 

YES, sometimes an older person may simply not wish to engage in an activity and fully well understand what they are asked to do. But, other times it could mean that they did not understand or that they were scared. 

Watch this week's episode and find out three key strategies to transfer disengagement to engagement.

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Uncategorized Feb 25, 2019

Gratitude is Indeed the Best Attitude


Having done a lot of research on the factors associated with emotional and psychological wellbeing in aged care, I can safely say that gratitude plays a large role in how we perceive our environment and circumstances. It can be difficult to see the “good side” at times, particularly when in ill health or when working in a job that we do not particularly like. The combination of ill health in clients with a job which we do not like, for whatever reason, can have profound effects on how we engage with clients. If we are in a bad mood, we are likely to project it in our interactions through a process known as emotional contagion.

Emotional contagion is a natural process which occurs when emotions are exchanged between individuals. The theory posits that people ‘catch’ emotional projections from others in an automatic, fast and fleeting process which is conceptualised as a multiple determined family of...

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Yes, it is true. Sometimes memory loss in late life can be fixed!

Over the years I have often been asked by the elderly if they should be concerned about their memory loss and if they had dementia, because they could not remember everything they had to buy at the shops. Interestingly, the question often came from individuals who did not have dementia. These people lived independently and were fearful that their health would suddenly decline and that they would face moving into a nursing home. Many older adults are fearful of developing dementia. Individuals with dementia, on the other hand, rarely reported concerns with memory loss when asked as part of the psychological assessment “my memory is great, it has never been better!” is the response I often get. However, there was evidence of memory loss as those individuals had great difficulty describing the events that led them to moving into the facility.

Briefly, let’s review dementia, as often people have difficulty differentiating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease....

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Three Practical Strategies to Reducing Anxiety in Older People

Uncategorized Jan 28, 2019

Three Practical Strategies to Reducing Anxiety in Older People

Anxiety symptoms are quite prevalent among older people. In contrast to depression, however, treatment of anxiety has received much less research and clinical significance. This means, we know far less about anxiety in older people who live in their own homes or in residential care. One of the reasons we know less about anxiety is that it can be attributed to personality type rather than be recognised as a mental health condition. You may hear a relative of an older person mention “mum was always like that” rather than “mum has anxiety and needs help to manage her symptoms”.


Before we tackle the practical strategies on how to address anxiety, lets quickly review what is anxiety. In a nutshell, anxiety is more than feeling stressed and the symptoms are more severe than our reaction to everyday stress in our lives. Anxiety is a mental health condition characterised with changes to our...

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How to Recognise Depression in Older People?

Have you ever wondered how depression in older people is diagnosed?

 Is it diagnosis the same as for younger people? Or, how is it different?

Are most older people depressed and is it a normal part of ageing?

Is everyone who sells their property and moves into a nursing home depressed?


Over the years I have delivered extensive training on recognising mental health symptoms in the elderly, particularly those who live in aged care facilities. I wanted to tap into this topic a bit more, as depression with the elderly can often be overlooked and masked by their other health conditions. Further, knowing that someone is depressed does not fix the problem – we need to implement strategies to help them with their emotions and offer the right type of support. In this article I will offer further background on depression in old age and offer some practical strategies to addressing it.


Depression is the most common mental health condition in late life. Older adults...

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