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Reaching out: Queensland nursing homes aim to fight loneliness among elderly


Wesley Mission Queensland is rolling out a person-directed care model across its nursing homes in an effort to combat feelings of loneliness, helplessness and boredom among its residents.

Cooper House and St Marks aged care homes at Wheller Gardens Chermside and Knowles Court at Sinnamon Village in western Brisbane have each achieved the first group of Eden Alternative® principles.

The Eden Alternative® is an American philosophy of care based on ten principles. Founded in Australia in 1999, the model involves staff, families and volunteers working together to create a setting in which the elderly are supported in a more interactive and meaningful way.

A first for Queensland

11 of Wesley Mission Queensland’s nursing homes are now Eden Registered, with Anam Cara at Bray Park and Parkview at Chermside the only two homes in Queensland to be fully registered in all 10 principles.

“Life for residents at Cooper House, St Marks and Knowles Court revolves around choice and empowerment,” said their Director of Residential Aged Care, Annie Gibney.

“Whether it’s our residents choosing when to have a meal or how they would like their meal prepared – the choice and control is theirs to make. Our residents feel like they are living at home.”

The not-for-profit organisation now hopes to gain full registration for all 13 of its nursing homes.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Jeffs

    Hello, i have been trying to find any websites or information on writing letters to people in nursing homes who are lonely or have limited contact with people. I work in disability services and love to help people. My mum and dad passed away in their eighties they lived outside Toowoomba and wanted to be indpendant. When dad passed away mum became very lonly but wouldnt move closer to us so each weekend or fortnight for over 3 years i drove to Crows Nest 5 hour round trip. I wrote to her in between and used up my long service a little at a time to take her to appointments. She loved getting letters and cards. I would like to do this for others – i can only find sites in America that help organise this. I thought there would be somewhere that would this. Can you help me or provide information to me. I would very much appreciate any assistance you can provide to me. Kind regards Jacqui.

  2. Hi Jacqueline, thanks for your email. We aren’t aware of any providers currently organising letters and cards for residents, but there is the Federal Government’s Community Visitors Scheme. This scheme organises group and one-on-one visitors to aged care homes and home package clients. We’d recommend getting in touch with them here by emailing to see if they have any more information related to this – we’d love to know what you find out! Kind regards, Lauren

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