#48: Building Blocks of Resilience in Aged Care

Season #4

Show notes:

Episode #2 – Special edition        

Building Blocks of Resilience in Aged Care

In this, the second episode of our 6-part special edition series of the Voice of Aged Care podcast, we will look at how we define resilience, the building blocks of resilience, self-awareness and action, and identifying what matters the most.

In previous episodes we have discussed wellbeing in late life and how you can best support your clients in detail – so I wanted to shift the focus onto the factors that influence those who work within aged care, as it can be quite challenging. In this context, the topic of resilience can be closely related with the intention to stay at work, as historically, turnover rates within the aged care workforce are alarmingly high. In this episode I will share some tools and strategies that you can turn to if you feel like things are not okay.

So what is resilience? I would define it as the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties. When we talk about resilience, stress and burnout, it can feel a little ambiguous, so uncovering some clarity around what it is it is an important first step in being able to recognise the times when your resilience is being tested.

The signs of stress to be aware of come under four broad categories – emotional, physical, behavioural and your thoughts. Within the emotional signs, you might feel irritable, anxious, low, overwhelmed, critical or angry. Physical signs can be harder to notice, and may manifest as changes to your appetite, general aches and pains and feeling lethargic or worn out. Behaviourally with stress we can see a lack of motivation, emotional outbursts, relying on substances or withdrawing. Then, with our thoughts, they can be negative, it can be hard to make decisions, we may lack perspective or objectivity, or have irrational thoughts. Understanding these elements can really help us to identify what is going on for us and our wellbeing.

This self-awareness can then help to propel us into action. It might be about recognising that you are experiencing high levels of stress and thinking about what are those protective strategies that we can use to help.

Resilience is not a skill you are born with – it is like a muscle that you need to keep working on and growing. When we think about resilience, there are six very important building blocks that can help:

  • Connection – to others, this can be one, two, or many people
  • Wellness – self-care activities that replenish you and make you feel good
  • Finding meaning – goal setting and pursuing your values
  • Reframing your thoughts – seeing things from a different perspective
  • Mindset –being hopeful, optimistic, using your strengths and growth mindset
  • Seeking help strategies – knowing where you can turn to for help when you need it.

These building blocks of resilience further highlight that resilience is a muscle that we need to work and grow – and we can’t be resilient without resources. We really need to focus on having the six  building blocks, not just in moments of crisis, but also as a preventative strategy to help us cope on an ongoing basis.

To close the episode, we look at the five things that matter most and how identifying these can enhance our wellbeing and help us to look at things more objectively.


In this episode you will learn:

  • How to define resilience to better understand it
  • Warning signs that your resilience is being tested
  • The six essential building blocks of resilience
  • How self-awareness propels us into action
  • How to identify what matters most.



I will be running a workshop on resilience specific to aged care workforce. To register your interest sign up below.