Re-Engagement After Prolonged Isolation

Isolation has been a long-standing issue for many older adults whose physical health has declined and support needs increased. Sadly, in many instances isolation has been normalised as normal part of ageing, along with the assumption that depression too is just part of getting old. In this article we are going to explore latest research on the impact of isolation in late life, particularly related to COVID-19 offer strategies how to gently reintroduce opportunities for better engagement and social connections in late life.

The Problem

Many individuals who experience isolation may subsequently experience loneliness and be at risk of developing mental health condition(s). They are not as active, engaged and well as they once were and may not be able to jump in the car as readily as before, go for a walk or organise a holiday with friends or family. Life is different, their support needs have increased and their losses may be multiple - loss of independence, loss of value,...

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Emotional and Psychological Wellbeing in Aged Care

ageing blog Aug 26, 2021

The last decade has seen an increased awareness on mental wellbeing across the life span including late life.

Generalisations and misconceptions about what it means to get old and the assumption that depression is a normal part of ageing are slowly fading.

A number of health services are available to support the emotional wellbeing of our elders across a range of settings and there are more opportunities for the workforce to receive training, education and support to meet the increased demands of their role.

In this post, I wanted to briefly cover some of the key concepts when discussing emotional and psychological wellbeing in aged care. The topics covered address my own doctorate research and clinical experience. We will review psychological presence at work, emotional contagion, empathy, mental health conditions and grief and loss. 

Psychological Presence at Work

This is a requirement of employees to be "fully there" both physically and emotionally and includes...

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Understanding anxiety and personal resilience during COVID-19

agedcare anxiety blog Aug 19, 2021

COVID times have been challenging for all of us and particularly for the elderly and those them. We may experience strong emotional and physical reactions to the current outbreak such as anger, sorrow, confusion or even fear.

Watching the news, hearing government and health updates on the endless changes to restrictions and advice can make the process more difficult and stressful. You may feel overwhelmed through the entire process and experience a range of emotions. That is common.  

It is important to acknowledge these emotions as they may feel sudden and intense. 

What is going on?

When our bodies perceive a threat, we enter a state of ‘fight or flight’, which is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived as stressful or frightening. During this state we operate in automatic process, our thoughts can be racing, we may feel dizzy or lightheaded, our breathing can become faster and our heart beats faster. We may feel...

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10 Lessons from the Last Decade: What I Wish I Knew When I Started Wise Care

agedcare ageing blog Aug 18, 2021

It feels like yesterday, but in fact it was a decade ago that I started Wise Care. I was about to turn 30 when I quit a full-time management role to follow my passion in improving mental wellbeing of the elderly. Establishing a health service was a major assessment task for my Masters’ degree, MBA Health Service Management and Corporate Governance, and I invented a care model for frail elderly Australians to access psychological support through home visits. I did well in the assignment and the feedback from my lecturer motivated me to turn the assignment into reality. This is the back story of how Wise Care was established and today I am one of Australia’s most experienced aged care psychology consultants, a published author, multi-award winner and sought-after presenter. 

‘I thought I had it all figured out – but in fact, looking back I took a huge risk.’

I left the financial security of a stable job, with no clear pathway to securing work and not...

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‘Mrs Brown, how are you today?’ – Embedding New Skills in the Workplace

blog Feb 23, 2021

Training that’s insightful, reflective and fun leaves you energised, motivated and excited to try out your new skills. But once you’ve completed the training, and are left to put it into practice, it can be far harder to implement than you think. Back at work the next day, you may be left wondering how you can possibly embed these new skills into your role. It looked relatively easy during the training session, so why is it so hard to transfer that knowledge and insight into your workplace now?

Sometimes questions pop up that undermine your confidence:

Did I get it right during training?

Will I look silly trying something new?

Will management support and understand why I am changing my approach?

It is also common to feel that we may be intruding on clients by asking lots of questions and engaging beyond the usual exchanging of greetings and completion of the daily set tasks. But for meaningful change to occur, we have to be brave enough to take that first step.

When I...

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