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Supporting Healthy Ageing

Ageing Well: 8 Essential Questions to Assess Healthy Ageing

Supporting an elderly individual, be it a client or a family member, is both a privilege and a responsibility. As they journey into their later years, ensuring their well-being becomes paramount. The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing highlights eight attributes crucial for healthy ageing.

Here's a streamlined checklist based on these recommendations to help you gauge and improve the health and happiness of the older people in your care and in your life. It is helpful for both aged care workers and family members.

1. Positive Outlook and Resilience:
Do they maintain a positive attitude, find joy in daily life, and adapt to life's changes?


  • Consider therapy for cognitive shifts in mindset.
  • Introduce simple pleasures weekly, like dining at a favourite spot or spending time with people they really enjoy chatting to.

2. Purpose and Autonomy:
Do they feel a sense of purpose, play significant social roles, and have autonomy over their decisions?


Engage with experts to help make crucial decisions, from finances to personal choices.

  • There are so many opportunities for volunteering. Find something they are passionate about and/or something extremely local and easy to get to. If they can’t leave the house, bring the task to them e.g. maybe they could do some admin support for a local pre school, charity or community centre.

3. Respect and Recognition:
Are they recognized as valued community members?


Encourage meaningful conversations, solicit their opinions, and truly listen.

  • You can change interactions with an older person ever so slightly by asking their opinion on things they have expertise or hearing their life experience.
  • You can ask how they would approach certain situations in life. There is nothing like feeling like people are valuing your opinion and listening to you.

4. Social Ties:
Do they maintain a balanced mix of family and friend connections?


  • Facilitate connections with distant relatives or friends through technology like FaceTime.
  • Introduce them to texting or social media for updates from family (especially the younger generation).

5. Connection to the Modern World:

Are they updated and engaged with societal happenings?


  • Make sure they have access to listen, view or watch news and current affairs shows
  • Give them access to books, if they are vision impaired introduce them to the wonderful world of audio books
  • Help them attend events with interesting speakers put on by the local community
  • Introduce them to podcasts or Youtube and help them subscribe to shows they may like
  • Speak to them about what is happening in the world and any big world events, report back on things you are interested in.

6. Safety and Freedom of Choice:
Do they feel safe and financially stable at home, and do they have the freedom to live as they desire?


  • Continually assess the support they require to live comfortably at home.
  • Guide them to financial advisors and potential government funding for additional assistance such as through My Aged Care.

7. Health Management:
Do they have access to and manage their health, both physical and mental?


  • Assess the GP they are currently using is the right GP for them going forward.
  • Are they good with older patients? Don’t stick with a GP simply because they have been with them for many years.
  • Is a geriatrician needed to come in and oversee their overall health?
  • Do they have access to physios, psychologist, OTs, audiologists and other allied health specialists who also have experience with older patients?

8. Mobility and Environment:
Is their environment senior-friendly, and can they navigate it comfortably?


  • Analyse their home for potential modifications to ensure they are in a safe environment.
  • Evaluate their transportation options, ensuring they're safe and accessible. Should they still drive? What public transport can they easily access?

We know this is a lot of questions to process. You may find it useful to refer to these questions when looking at an older person’s current situation and ways to improve it. Caring for older people requires understanding, compassion, and action. This checklist can serve as a guide to ensuring the best for those in their later years. Periodically revisiting these questions can be a cornerstone in paving the way for a more comfortable, fulfilling ageing process for your clients and loved ones.

To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer

To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers

To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers

To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals