Pioneering providers, researchers and advisors will come together at AAA’s Active Ageing Conference next week to share the latest evidence and practice on wellness, reablement and restorative care in aged care.

With the government’s first restorative care packages being allocated this month, interest in wellness models in aged care is mounting.

At the same time providers are still grappling with their new requirements to adopt wellness and reablement in home care and home support.

Now a group of pioneering providers is preparing to share their experiences of developing and implementing reablement and wellness programs across their organisations at next week’s Active Ageing Conference 2016.

The event organised by Australian Ageing Agenda and Community Care Review will also hear the latest research evidence on the wellness approaches, as well as the elements for successful implementation.

From gyms co-located at residential facilities to programs that re-connect older people with activities in their community – the range of wellness and reablement programs being pursued by aged care organisations has expanded in recent years.

Clockwise from top left: Melissa Young, Wina Kung, Jo Boylan and Lindsay Tighe will speak at next week's Active Ageing Conference
Clockwise from top left: Melissa Young, Wina Kung, Jo Boylan and Lindsay Tighe will speak at next week’s Active Ageing Conference

Three pioneering providers – Alzheimer’s Queensland, Catholic Community Services NSW/ACT and Southern Cross Care SA/NT – will discuss their journeys and the challenges and opportunities they experienced.

Lee-Fay Low, Associate Professor in Ageing and Health at the University of Sydney, will discuss the latest research evidence in the area and successful ingredients of reablement programs for older people in home and residential care

Risk, consumer empowerment

The one-day conference will also hear from UnitingCare lifeAssist’s Wina Kung who will discuss how to manage the increased risk that comes with empowering clients to take more control of their lives.

Melissa Young, a consultant who is advising the sector on aged care transformation, will tell providers that early planning is essential to empowering aged care consumers, especially within a wellness and reablement approach.

Kelly Gray from CommunityWest will share new insights from a major trial that has involved 10 aged care services working with consumers to co-produce wellness and enablement programs.

CommunityWest partnered with COTA Australia on the Step Forward Together project, which has been trialling co-production with 10 pilot sites around Australia since October 2015.

The Active Ageing Conference 2016 takes place on 4 August at Swissotel, Sydney. Click here to register

Join the Conversation


  1. A good opportunity to hear and consider how W,R&R approaches are being introduced or can be introduced through a partnership within and between allied health. I hope there’s an opportunity to consider counselling as part of the support structures for people and workers, an area I am interested in and look forward to working with others.

  2. Sorry Caroline, they’ll only do counseling if you can push a Cert 3 staff member through an online course and substitute them for real counselors.

    This seems to be the preferred model for ‘wellness’. Who needs physios when you can turn your RAOs into ‘fitness instructors’ (certified online, of course…and it only took a few months!).

    There’s no money in providing real allied health services. Until that changes we’ll just have to amuse ourselves with the creative window dressing being used by providers to hoodwink the consumer.

  3. I have been counselling in aged care for well over 20 years, and in this time I have seen the reduction in private clients due to the inability of pensioners already struggling on minimal funds unable to afford to pay for the service. I believe that without government assistance it will leave vulnerable people being less supported by family and staff than ever before.

    With the growing pressure on care staff and the reduced hours to spend with residents, families being so busy in their own lives, government and community expectation for older people to enter aged care facilities earlier, the psychological and emotional needs of older people are becoming more compelling and the services offered unsupported.

    I have just posted a gofundme account to assist me to continue to support many people I visit in the community as well as aged care facilities who unfortunately do not have the family/carer financial support they need to continue to see me. I could offer many stories in support of the growing need for ‘wellness programs’ to be introduced into the support structure for aged care.

  4. Kylie and Joan, I think we are onto something which is a gap in aged care. I certainly will not be delivering my services for ‘free’ as I’ve invested a lot of $ in postgrad education. If any providers are reading this and think counselling is a valuable service, perhaps we could start to have early conversations.

  5. The Cert 1V Leisure and Health Course has been redesigned again to take into account the focus on wellness.
    I would hope that taking an exercise class in-house with an emphasis on move it or lose it would be encouraged. The person taking the class should be assessed by the physio for clearance to participate. The activities officer can then deliver an appropriate program and provide feedback about participation and issues associated with this.
    It is interesting to note the increasing use of volunteers to support the paid staff to deliver the programs.

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