Seniors Ask for Understanding and Compassion
18 May 2015
Aged Care Reviews
A good aged care facility should have a manager who takes the time to connect with residents on a personal level. They might be relied upon for many things, but it is also part of their duty to create bonds with the elderly who stay at their facility. Personal care workers and nurses should learn the importance of having patience, and actually displaying a sense of care for residents.
The above points are just some of those that were raised by the elderly, in a group of interviews from a recent study. The study is called “Experiences of Ageing in Australia”. The focus of the research study was to find out what the elderly actually felt was important, on a personal level. In addition to this, they were asked to share their feelings about what it was like to become older.
The study was undertaken over a period of two years, by a research team at La Trobe University. They believe that the information gathered is important for filling a gap, in the way that society collectively understands what it is like to age. It has been presented as audio, video, and writing, containing the interviews of 56 elderly participants.
Healthdirect Australia was the organization that initiated “Experiences of Ageing in Australia”. It was recently launched by Mitch Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services. He stated that the study would prove to be helpful for older people, as well as people in charge of creating related policies, and those working in the aged care industry.
The director of research at La Trobe University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is Associate Professor Kath Ryan. In regards to the launch, she said that the research team had taken the time to go through regional and urban areas of Australia, speaking with senior citizens in their own homes.
The study also found that people tended to think of aging as a very gradual thing. It is not as though anyone wakes up one day and suddenly finds themselves in their eighties. Some of the interviewees said that they felt almost like they did when they were still young. Others said that they felt more experienced and confident, with more knowledge about the world, and a better understanding of accepting others. People often agreed that they felt more tolerance towards others as well. These types of positive attributes were considered beneficial more daily life.
Participants shared their messages for other people, whether they are young, or seniors themselves. However, the focus of the interviews was not entirely on expressing what it felt like to grow older. There were also some messages directed at those who create government policies about the elderly and aged care.
It was a commonly held belief that policies should focus more on the benefits that seniors can contribute to society. They felt that they were often viewed as a burden, which needed to be “taken care of”, when they actually have much to offer.
Denis, one of the participants, said that the retirement age should be increased to 70, since people are living for more years these days. While this type of statement might not sit well with those who are still below the retirement age, it is certainly something for people to think about.
Another interviewee, Richard, shared his imagery about suburbs that were planned to accommodate both young and old. In this way, he believed that the elderly could feel that they were still a part of the community, without going without important facilities.
It is easy to see that the elderly have a lot to say about how they would like to be treated. Many feel that they have a wealth of knowledge to share with younger generations, and that this resource is being wasted. Aged care facilities are nothing like many people imagine them to be. They do not all feature isolated, dull, and often unhealthy living conditions. The best way to ensure that your loved ones have the best later years possible, is to find a top aged care facility before it’s needed. This way, there will be enough time to ensure that you make the right choice for yourself, or your family member.