Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Care with Older People

Recovery-Oriented Mental Health Care with Older People

Graduate Certificate
Semester 2 - Older unit

As the Australian population ages, there is an increasing demand for recognising the different needs of people as they first transition into old age. This unit provides a framework for students to apply recovery-oriented practices when working with people who are moving into old age. It explores the reality of challenges and developmental changes that occur with age, recognises the ongoing contribution of older people to society and identifies the factors that support positive ageing. Students will be adapting assessment, care planning, management and interventions to meet the needs of older people, as well as applying their knowledge of old age and common causes of mental illness and distress during this life stage.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Apply a recovery-oriented framework to engage with an older person and their family or carers, demonstrating knowledge about normal development, mental illness and distress.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and respect for, diverse community including people from CALD backgrounds and Aboriginal peoples in mental health care.
  • Formulate, in partnership with the person and their carers, biopsychosocial assessment and management which integrates physical and mental health in response to mental health presentations in older people using a person-centred recoverybased framework.
  • On the basis of an assessment and in collaboration with colleagues, plan a mental health promotion activity for an older person and/or their family.
  • Engage in meaningful professional relationships within ethico-legal frameworks for people with lived experience, their families and carers, in a variety of health settings.
  • Critique a range of mental health presentations of older people, applying appropriate assessment and intervention approaches, using a recovery focused framework.
  • Review the concepts of positive ageing and discuss the key features of recovery-oriented practice with the transition from late adulthood to old age.

Weekly Schedule
Week 1 Recovery-oriented framework for older people & their family/carers
Week 2 Concepts of positive ageing
Week 3 The biopsychosocial aspect of ageing
Week 4 Ethico-legal concerns in elderly people
Week 5 Mental health promotion activities for older people
Week 6 Physical health and mental health in old age
Week 7 Working with older people experiencing delirium
Week 8 Loneliness, depression and suicide prevention
Week 9 Other mental health concerns in old age
Week 10 Psychopharmacology and medication management in old age
Week 11 Psychotherapies for older people
Week 12 Working with older people from Indigenous background
Week 13 Working with older people from CALD background
Week 14 Working with older people from sexually diverse background
Week 15 Key learnings and unit summary