Stimulating mental health in an aged care environment

It is vital to stimulate mental health in seniors and residential aged care homes are doing a wonderful job in that regard.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found in 2013 that 45% of newly admitted aged care residents have symptoms of depression.

Residential aged care home operators reach out to residents to interact and create a social connection in many ways, such as virtual reality technology evoking trips of their younger days. The use of intergenerational ties is growing to stimulate mental health and providers are beginning to house residents with young children.

Provider Cranbrook Care has linked up with Cool Bananas Early Learning Centre on a range of intergenerational projects.

The latest is handing over chickens that the residents of Bella Vista Gardens, 33km northwest of Sydney’s CBD, has raised and hatched over the past six weeks.

Cranbrook Care CEO Lee Carissa says it is not only a delight to see the children eagerly welcome their new feathered friends, he believes the partnership offers both emotional and cognitive benefits for participating residents, who have been keen to get involved.

“We are really proud of this partnership which is successfully connecting young children with our residents through hands-on creative activities which help share stories and build connections between younger and older generations, something which is particularly important for residents who may not have younger family members close by.”

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.