What we know

Resilience in older adults can be defined as the ability to ‘bounce back’ and recover physical and/or psychological health in the face of adversity. Health professionals often have significant interaction with older adults in times of adversity, especially in a palliative care context, and are in a position to influence a person’s resilience. Enhancing social support systems and focussing upon feelings of self-worth and identity can assist in developing improved coping strategies for the individual and therefore and increase their sense of resilience.

What can I do?

Encourage family to maintain social connection and encourage or promote activities.

Recognise the contribution of families and carers in supporting older people.

Provide information on volunteer support services such as the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS).

Investigate whether respite care may assist a carer to continue as a carer for longer or with more ease.

Encourage the maintenance and development of social networks for older people living in the community.

Support older people asking for local engagement.

Use the palliAGED Self-Care Plans to guide self-care activities for yourself and the aged care team.

Support referral to allied health via the chronic disease management program and under the Better Access to Mental Health Care Initiative.

What can I learn?

Read about Resilience in the Elderly (1.51MB pdf).

Watch this YouTube video Resilience but what is it? Here's 5 ways to build resilience.

Watch this 30-minute video about the Community Visitors Scheme, Fostering social inclusion through the Community Visitors Scheme.

What can my organisation do?

Look at ways that older people and their carers can maintain connections with family, friends and social networks.

When supporting carers, help them

  • to understand what to expect in the disease trajectory so that they can prepare for the future
  • to focus on the things over which they have some control
  • to understand their limits and let them know of support services that they can access
  • to help them to work out what sort of help suits their needs and who they feel comfortable about providing this care (family, friends, support services)
  • to access respite services so that they can maintain contact with friends, family or meaningful activities
  • with ways of looking after themselves, their finances etc. so that these don’t become a problem or point of stress

Promote the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) to recipients of community-care.

Consider the resilience of staff and

Page updated 08 July 2021