Promoting the Wellbeing of Older Persons in an Aged Care Setting


The wellbeing and general health of an individual are essential at any age. However, the importance of these elements is heightened at old age. The welfare of the elderly is affected negatively by numerous factors. Such issues include social to health problems. Consequently, various care settings for the aged, such as nursing homes, community hospitals, and clubs, have been established to promote the quality of life of these individuals. To this end, care providers, especially healthcare practitioners, are important determinants of the wellbeing of older adults.

The resource kit provided in this report focuses on issues related to the promotion of the health of the older persons. The kit can be used in different aged care settings. The report evaluates the resource tool and its relevance to care providers and the older adults. In addition, its importance of this to the community at large is highlighted.

Developing the Resource Kit

Using the Tool in Professional Practice

According to Morgan et al. (2012), there is an increase in the number of aged persons in Australia. The development is associated with a number of health related complications for this population. As a result, it is important for nurses and other specialists engaged in the provision of care for this group to understand the issues surrounding their health. In the next ten years, it is projected that the population of persons aged above 65 will increase by more than 15%. The number of individuals aged 85 years and above is also expected to increase by more than 27% over the same duration (The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2000).

To address expected future developments, the Australian government is facilitating the training of caregivers. For instance, the National Carer Recognition Act of 2010 is a legislative measure taken by the authorities to improve the welfare of the elderly. The Act contains, among others, the Statement for Australia’s Carers. The declaration outlines ten principles guiding public service agencies and associated providers on how to treat carers in policy development, as well as in program and service delivery (Carers NSW, 2014).

The proposed resource kit is meant to be a self-paced learning guide. It is made up of different sections. Each segment contains notes regarding a particular topic of concern to the wellbeing of older adults.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health (2013), Encouraging Better Practice in Aged Care (EBPAC) initiative focuses on strengthening carers. The program supports the utilisation of person-centred and evidence-based practice in the provision of care to the elderly clients. The resource toolkit is developed in line with these requirements. The care provider can use it to promote their evidence-based practice. In addition, the resource can be used by the carer to identify the approach that is appropriate to a particular aged care setting. In addition, the skills and knowledge of the professional will be developed through the use of the supporting elements. Consequently, the resource kit improves the outcomes of care provision.

The kit can be modified to train providers of aged care in the community setting. To this end, the tool is especially important to caregivers with limited skills, such as family members. By bringing on board learning outcomes and assessment criteria, the resource can be used to train other categories of care providers.

Reasons for Choosing the Components of the Resource Kit

The ‘ingredients’ are based on the inherent needs of the care providers for the aged. They are also informed by the requirements of the recipients and guidelines provided by regulatory regimes. The Australian authorities support various programs aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of the older adults.

Every component of the resource either adds to the knowledge of the caregiver or enhances their skills by providing guidelines on certain issues. Some of the elements enlighten the professionals on how to convince others to promote the wellbeing of the aged. Dementia is a major issue affecting the health of older adults (Australian Government Department of Health, 2013). Majority of people suffering from this condition live in their communities and are cared for by family members (Crotty et al., 2004). Consequently, the care provider requires knowledge on dementia. Considering that these clients are in their social settings, the need for community involvement arises. The development justifies the inclusion of this component in the kit.

As the older adults continue to age, they develop various behaviours that may challenge the patience and aptitude of the care providers (Bowling, 2005; Hilmer & Gnjidic, 2009). To address this issue, the resource tool highlights the welfare of caregivers. In addition, the psychological approaches that can be used by providers are highlighted.

Other components, such as the importance of sleep and sexuality among older persons, are used for complimentary purposes. Some issues regarding these patients and their wellbeing are neglected (Becker & Jamieson, 1992; Gott, 2005; Roach, 2004). Consequently, care providers are equipped with knowledge on such issues in order to enhance the effectiveness of their interventions.

The welfare of the older adults is also influenced by the individual’s quality of life irrespective of the care setting. Such issues as loneliness become important indicators of health (Dykstra, 2009; Overshott & Burns, 2005). The kit evaluates this issue to provide carers with an all-rounded view of their clients.


Caregivers cannot ignore the importance of promoting the welfare of aged persons. The number of these individuals is increasing on an annual basis. In light of this, it is important for carers to have adequate skills to effectively handle the emerging issues. The ultimate goal is to promote the wellbeing of older adults in the community. The proposed resource kit is an effective tool that can be used to enhance the skills of these professionals. It is based on evidence-based approach to the provision of care. The kit can be modified to encourage the participation of stakeholders interested in the health of the aged.


Australian Government Department of Health. (2013).The Department of Health: Encouraging Better Practice in Aged Care (EBPAC). Web.

Becker, P., & Jamieson, A. (1992). Common sleep disorders in the elderly: Diagnosis and treatment. Geriatric, 47(1), 41-52.

Bowling, A. (2005). Ageing well: Quality of life in old age. London: Open University Press.

Carers NSW. (2014). Australian Government Carers’ Initiative: Carer Recognition Act 2010. Web.

Crotty, M., Halbert, J., Rowett, D., Giles, L., Birks, R., Williams, H., & Whitehead, C. (2004). An outreach geriatric medication advisory service in residential aged care: A randomized controlled trial of case conferencing. Age Ageing, 33(6), 612- 617.

Dykstra, P. (2009). Older adult loneliness: Myths and realities. European Journal of Ageing, 6(1), 91-100.

Gott, M. (2005). Sexuality, sexual health, and ageing. Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

Hilmer, N., & Gnjidic, D. (2009). The effects of polypharmacy in older adults. Clinical Pharmacolology, 85(1), 86-98.

Morgan, T., Williamson, M., Pirotta, M., Stewart, K., Myers, S., & Barnes, J. (2012). A national census of medicines use: A 24-hour snapshot of Australians aged 50 years and older. Medical Journal of Australia, 196(1), 50-53.

Overshott, R., & Burns, A. (2005). Treatment of dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 76(5), 53-59.

Roach, S. (2004). Sexual behaviour of nursing home residents: Staff perceptions and responses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48(4), 371-379.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2000). Health in rural and remote Australia. Canberra, Australia: AIHW.

Promoting the Wellbeing of Older Persons in an Aged Care Setting: A Resource Kit for Healthcare Professionals

Annotated Bibliography

Forjaz, M., Prieto-Flores, M., Ayala, A., Rodriguez-Blazquez, C., Fernandez-Mayoralas, G., Rojo-Perez, F., & Martinez-Martin, P. (2011). Measurement properties of the Community Wellbeing Index in older adults. Quality of Life Research, 20(1), 733-743.

The International Wellbeing Index (IWI) proposes two specific indices. They include national (NWI) and personal (PWI) wellbeing indicators. The latter measures the individual’s level of satisfaction with regards to their place of residence. The article provides an extensive analysis of these indices and their application in older adults. CWI is a reliable and valid measure of subjective wellbeing in relation to community assessment. Application of the indices in Australia can help establish the relative comfort of older persons in the country.

Gnjidic, D., Couteur, D., Pearson, S., McLachlan, A., Viney, R., Hilmer, S.,…Banks, E. (2013). High risk prescribing in older adults: Prevalence, clinical and economic implications and potential for intervention at the population level. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 1-9.

Prescription is a major issue influencing the welfare of old persons in aged care settings. The article postulates that high risk prescription may compromise the quality of life of these individuals. The article determines risk factors, prevalence, costs, and clinical consequences of this form of intervention. Proposed indicators in quantifying this prescription among older people include, among others, polypharmacy and exposure to high risk medications. The article provides healthcare professionals with guidelines on effective, efficient, and friendly prescription for older adults.

Lima, C. & Ibvijaro, G. (2013). Mental health and wellbeing of older people: Opportunities and challenges. Mental Health in Family Medicine, 10(1), 125-127.

More than 20% of persons aged 55 and above suffer from mental health problems. Consequently, it is essential to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with the process of addressing this major issue in older adults. The article analyses various approaches used in promoting the wellbeing of these individuals with regards to their mental health. Investments on developmental policies, programmes, strategies, and services for the elderly are also called for.

Cole, R., Scott, S., & Skelton-Robinson, M. (2000). The effect of challenging behaviour and staff support on the psychological wellbeing of staff working with older adults. Aging & Mental Health, 4(4), 359-365.

Challenging behaviours, such as withdrawal and agitation, are postulated to be prevalent among older persons. The article establishes the relationship between levels of staff support, challenging behaviour among elderly patients, and the psychological wellbeing of the caregivers. Psychological wellbeing among staff correlates directly with perceived support. However, the element is not related to challenging behaviour among older persons. The findings indicate that organisational factors impact more on occupational stress compared to resident characteristics. The article is important to practitioners since it highlights what is required of them when offering services to older adults.

Bolitho, J. (2011). Reading into wellbeing: Bibliotherapy, libraries, health and social connection. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 24(2), 89-90.

The therapeutic effects of reading are analysed in various studies, especially among marginalised populations. Some studies have focused on socially disadvantaged people, such as those suffering from dementia. The article advances the value of bibliotherapy and sharing of ‘good’ literature. It highlights on how this form of therapy promotes social connection and wellbeing. It focuses on the use of bibliotherapy on older patients. The text provides insight into the application of this alternative method of promoting the wellbeing of these clients.

Hoe, J., & Thompson, R. (2010). Promoting positive approaches to dementia care in nursing. Nursing Standard, 25(4), 47-56.

Dementia is one of the major problems affecting the older population. The article explores various factors related to the provision of care for the elderly persons suffering from this condition. The role of nurses as caregivers, as well as the person-centred approaches to dementia, is reviewed in this text. In addition, the importance of the Mental Capacity Act in the assessment of people affected by this problem is explored.

The article is important to practitioners as it helps them in exploring pharmacological and psychosocial approaches to dementia. The authors emphasise on the need to support the carers of older persons with mental problems, especially dementia.

Burke, D., Jennings, M., McClinchy, J., Masey, H., Westwood, D., & Dickinson, A. (2011). Community luncheon clubs benefit the nutritional and social well-being of free living older people. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 24(1), 277-310.

The wellbeing of older adults is threatened by malnutrition and other factors. The article proposes community meals as a potential method of reducing this risk. The study explores the importance of this intervention and its contribution to the wellbeing and nutritional intake of ‘free-living’ adults aged 65 years and above. The authors postulate that community meals, especially lunches, enhance nutritional intake among older adults. In addition, they provide such benefits as social wellbeing and physical health. The authors propose the intervention as an important method of enhancing the health of senior citizens in the modern society.

Gething, L., Gridley, H., Browning, C., Helmes, E., Luszcz, M., Turner, J.,…Wells, Y. (2003). The role of psychologists in fostering the wellbeing of older Australians. Australian Psychologist, 38(1), 1-10.

Optimisation of service provision for older adults requires a multi-sectoral approach. The article explores some of the contributions made by the Australian Psychological Society (APS). It also highlights the role of this organisation in relation to the wellbeing of older Australians. The authors make various recommendations touching on public policy, training, and psychological practice. The article enlightens professionals on issues associated with caring for the aged. Psychologists are encouraged to further examine ways of promoting successful ageing.

Ersser, S., Wiles, A., Taylor, H., Wade, S., Walsh, R., & Bentley, T. (1999). The sleep of older people in hospital and nursing homes. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8(1), 360-368.

The article discusses the findings of a pilot study on sleep quality and patterns among older adults in various care settings. Nursing homes recorded better sleeping patterns for the elderly compared to other points of care. Consequently, the wellbeing of older adults in nursing care settings is higher than in other settings. The article emphasises importance of sleep in relation to the provision of care to the elderly. The text helps practitioners to explore non-pharmacological means of enhancing the wellbeing of these clients.

Bauer, M., McAuliffe, L., Nay, R., & Chenco, C. (2013). Sexuality in older adults: Effect of an education intervention on attitudes and beliefs of residential aged care staff. Educational Gerontology, 39(1), 82-91.

The sexual health of older adults is neglected in most aged care settings. The article advances that sexuality presents a significant challenge to these clients and to caregivers who lack knowledge on the same. The authors evaluate education programs for resident nurses in relation to their knowledge and attitudes towards the sexuality of older people.

Merriam, S., & Kee, Y. (2014). Promoting community wellbeing: The case for lifelong learning for older adults. Adult Education Quarterly, 64(2), 128-144.

The health of older adults should not be left in the hands of care providers only. In this article, the authors advance the importance of community involvement in enhancing the quality of life for all members of the society. Lifelong learning for adults is theorised to be one way through which community can promote the wellbeing of the elderly. Active and healthy older persons contribute to the welfare of the society, especially from a social capital perspective. The article is seminal to caregivers intending to persuade community participation in the wellbeing of the elderly. It provides frameworks for formal, informal, and non-formal means of involving communities in the welfare of the aged.

Pronk, M., Deeg, D., Smits, C., Tilburg, T., Kuik, D., Festen, J., & Kramer, S. (2011). Prospective effects of hearing status on loneliness and depression in older persons: Identification of subgroups. International Journal of Audiology, 50(1), 887-896.

Loneliness and depression impact on the quality of life of older persons. The article establishes the association between hearing impairments, loneliness, and depression among this group. The authors indicate that poor hearing has adverse effects on the wellbeing of the elderly. The article provides caregivers with information on prevention and intervention programs for the aged.