Promoting emotional wellbeing in aged care

Being involved in activities that promote enjoyment and a sense of purpose is essential for healthy ageing. Older people may be more susceptible to feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness, and it important for aged care providers to remedy this by offering  a range of activities and services that are aligned with clients’ needs.

Some core principles aged care staff can folllow to promote emotional wellbeing are:

  1. Supporting autonomy and independence.
  2. Encouraging and fostering social connections within and external to the service.
  3. Focusing on strengths, abilities and improving capacity, rather than disabilities.
  4. Promoting personal responsibility.
  5. Providing person-centred services that are flexible and responsive.
  6. Creating relationships with the older person to explore their interests and strengths and to develop their goals.
  7. Respecting an older person’s decision-making ability and preferences.
  8. Working in partnership with other local services and agencies.
  9. Respecting privacy and dignity in relation to consulting friends, families, and service providers.

The kinds of activities that an organisation can offer will depend on the size and resources of the service. Ideally, an organisation should provide, or facilitate access to services and activities relating to the following areas:

  • Physical activity
  • Purposeful activities
  • Music and arts
  • Animals and pet therapy
  • Social relationships and connections
  • Involving family members, carers and friends
  • Spirituality
  • Resilience and coping skills
  • Loss and grief support

For more detailed guidance on how your organisation can best promote emotional wellbeing for its clients, we have developed the following resources, available in the SPP Reading Room:

  • Information Sheet: Emotional Wellbeing in Aged Care
  • Policy: Promoting Emotional Wellbeing (Aged Care)