Over the past two years, there have been numerous reports covering the intense loneliness and social isolation many older people are experiencing in aged care, particularly due to – or exacerbated – by the global pandemic.
According to the Australian Psychology Society, one-in-four people experienced an episode of loneliness, and one-in-two reported feeling lonely at least once a week.
Next Tuesday, February 22, from 9:30am to 12pm, the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) will host a workshop titled Strategies for tackling loneliness in aged care.
The workshop will hear from experts in the field, and foster insightful conversation with aged care workers, aimed at developing and providing strategies to support emotional wellbeing in older people.
NARI is Australia’s only independent national research institute dedicated to ageing, and is committed to improving the life and health of older people through research and its translation into evidence-based practice.
The workshop will draw on experiences of those working in aged care and health settings, and also focus on:
- The psychology behind loneliness — what it is related to, how common it is, what causes it;
- Strategies to prevent loneliness and social isolation in people living in residential aged care and those receiving home care; and
- Expanding social connections for emotional wellbeing.
Professor Colleen Doyle is a senior principal research fellow at NARI and honorary professor at Swinburne University and Deakin University. Colleen’s research with NARI focuses on two projects: BEFRIENDAS, the impact of befriending for older adults living in residential aged care and PITCH, the development of dementia training for health care workers. She founded the Australian Psychological Society Psychology and Aging Interest Group
Marcia Fearn has a background in psychology and social science, and is a research officer at NARI. She is the project coordinator for the BEFRIENDAS. Marcia’s research interests are mental health, person-centred care, psychological impacts on physical health and coping strategies in illness, chronic disease and ageing.
For more on the Strategies for tackling loneliness in aged care workshop, click here.