What do we mean by saying ‘’ageing well’’? How are elderly people able to improve their physical and mental wellbeing? How are they able to stay independent for longer? These are the topics that we discuss today with Odysseas Kripotos, member of the Public Relations team in the Aged Care service ‘’Fronditha Care’’.
One of the main goals of the Australian government is to help the elderly age well. However the definition of ‘’ageing well’’ varies from person to person. As the years pass, life changes, but there are always the core pillars of a good life, such as love, friendship, health, family and respect.
‘’However, since there is no strict definition on what happiness is, it would be better to change the question to what happiness is for us’’ says Odysseas Kripotos of ‘’Fronditha Care’’.
So how can the elderly choose to have a happier life?
Things have changed. 50 years ago, children might have been able to care for their parents once they got older, but now their responsibilities do not leave them with enough time to do so.
In addition, the life of an elderly person is very different in Australia than in Greece. Especially in Greek villages, where the elderly would gather at the square. This form of socialization is rare in Australia, as the centres where Greek elderly gather are often too far for some. A person might lack the ability or the means to drive to a community or club. In addition, the average lifespan has increased.
The government’s role
The government’s philosophy on ageing well is to help the elderly stay independent for as long as possible.
‘’In order to achieve that, it is important to treat the elderly as people who face problems but remain capable of doing things’’ says Mr Kripotos.
‘’For example, an elderly person might not be able to vacuum their house like they used to. Instead of saying this person is incapable of vacuuming ever again, we can help them clean the house one room while taking breaks or to advise them to buy a lighter vacuum cleaner’’.
It is not unusual for the elderly not wanting to do house chores or with activities that offer fleeting or no joy. So it falls on an assessor to talk to that person, determine what their needs are and to construct a care plan which addresses the aged person’s needs and choices.
You can hear the discussions of Speak My Language at speakmylanguageradio.com.au/listen.
You can contact ‘’My aged care’’ by calling 1800 200 422 or at myagedcare.gov.au.
If you require a translator to use My aged care, you can call the Translating and Interpreting Service at 131 450.