The Health Issues Centre was commissioned by Gippsland PHN to learn more about older residents and their health and wellbeing needs in 2018. A report is now available and can be downloaded here.
The Health Issues Centre used Facebook posts to reach 12,048 people 65 years or older and 14,612 adult children of ageing parents from across the Gippsland region. Follow up surveys were completed by 102 people and interviews held with 32 people, including nine health professionals.
Viewing the ageing process from the consumer perspective has highlighted the critical importance of the older person’s identity and social inclusion for healthy ageing. Clinical empathy and effective communication has been identified as an important opportunity to restore self-esteem and trust in the health system.
“Some doctors just don’t want to listen.” (Ageing person)
The importance of carer support was highlighted.
“I’m so tired. I waited over 12 months for a carers pension to be approved and although I did receive back pay it put tremendous strain on my marriage which still hasn’t recovered. (Adult child of ageing parent, carer)
A health professional pointed out the need for messaging about primary care as a way to help people maintain their independence, not remove it, so they can age safely at home for as long as possible.
“Just the word ‘respite’ is so confusing for older people. They think it means going to an aged care facility and immediately think it means they have to give up their home and money.”
For more information, contact Maria Garrett, Population Health Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0447 206 817