Meaningful Ageing is launching a new campaign to help seniors to find the right aged care provider for their needs.
The campaign named See Me. Know Me. will include resources and a list of 10 questions for older people to consider, such as how does the organisation incorporate contemporary spiritual care and maintain connections and relationships.
Ilsa Hampton, CEO of Meaningful Ageing Australia, says care providers should recognise seniors as whole people; what gives them joy, their important rituals and formative life events.
Ms Hampton says it’s vital for older people and their loved ones to see beyond the nuts and bolts when choosing aged care.
“People want providers that seek to know the person, with all their stories, feelings, beliefs and sense of purpose. Not only their past experiences, but their hopes, dreams and loves that connect them to life today,” she said.
“These are not new ideas. International evidence demonstrates that spirituality is intrinsic to quality of life. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety needs to ask hard questions about what stops all providers from having cultures of care that recognise and respond to the whole person.”
Spirituality, whether personal belief or faith based, has been identified by the World Health Organisation as intrinsically linked to benefit quality of life. It directly leads to reduced loneliness, better mental health and resilience.
Professor Yvonne Wells, from La Trobe University’s Lincoln Centre for Research on Ageing says aged care providers need to be putting wellbeing at the centre of care though recognises our system is more aligned with clinical models.
“It is essential that the wellbeing of older people is put at the centre of aged care,” Prof Well said.
“Our experience is that this can be challenging for a care system that tends to be orientated around clinical models. Meaningful Ageing’s See Me. Know Me. campaign is a great initiative to help drive change by empowering seniors.”
Meaningful Ageing Australia will launch the new website seemeknowme.org.au and social media campaign on 14 February 2019 as part of NSW Seniors’ Week.
Free downloads include posters, conversation starters for older people with their loved ones, and the questions for consumers to ask aged care providers.