Educating Medical Students on Healthy Ageing has been acknowledged with a Better Practice Award

1 September 2016

We are extremely pleased to be awarded the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s 2016 Better Practice Award for our engagement with Students from The University of Adelaide in educating them on healthy ageing and exercise for older people.

In January 2015, we implemented a program to close the gap of ageism, identified by our customers and staff.  By listening to our residents, we recognised there was a projection from medical professionals which had negative impacts and prevented older people achieving their healthy potential. From this, we wanted to demonstrate the abilities of our older people to medical students, debunking the preconceived stereotypes that some held at that time.

By hosting placements at Southern Cross Care, we have been able to bring together our future medical professionals from fields in Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Fitness; with our motivated older people who are passionate about sharing their knowledge through inter-generational learning.

Since the programs inception, we’ve worked with 83 students and 83 customers, with 60% of students reported an increased interest in working with older people.

The one-day learning program included participation in exercises, informal discussion opportunities, workshop on healthy ageing theory and practice, written resources, morning tea with customers, resident interview and case study and reflection. The students were impressed by the quality and thoroughness of the care plans, surprised by the strong and fit members in the advanced group and amazed at the possibilities of life after discharge and the rehabilitation potential.

The students have since learnt what motivates an individual to stay active at any age, the services available and how to access them, the exercises that are specifically beneficial to older people, and how to encourage physical activity within hospital to prevent avoidable decline.

Our customers are proud of the impacts they are having and believe this program will contribute to future medical professionals in South Australia who promote healthy ageing and exercise for all no matter what their age.

Thankyou to all who have been involved in our student learning program, and Congratulations to our staff, customers and students for achieving this award.