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In this webinar we will discuss how GPs and Allied Health Professionals can reduce the negative impact of loneliness on the mental health of older patients.

Loneliness in older people is emerging as one of the most significant issues experienced, and with the emergence of COVID-19 the risk of loneliness has continued to increase (Smith & Lim, 2020). Loneliness is linked to poor physical health and mental ill-health, as well as the risk of premature death, and lack of satisfaction with life (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015; Australian Psychological Society, 2018; Relationships Australia, 2018; Schumaker et al., 1993). In 2018, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) the percentage of Australians experiencing loneliness over 65 years, included 13.1% aged 65-69; 14.7% aged 70-74; 19.1% aged 75-79; and 19.5% over the age of 80 years (AIHW, 2018). This rate can only have been expected to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar will explore how GPs, Psychologists and other Allied Health Professionals can identify loneliness in older patient, and utilise resources to reduce the impact of loneliness on older patient’s mental health.

References

  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Social isolation and loneliness. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/social-isolation-and-loneliness
  • Australian Psychological Society. (2018). Australian Loneliness Report: A survey exploring the loneliness levels of Australians and the impact on their health and wellbeing. Australian Psychological Society. https://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/items/c1d9cd16-ddbe-417f-bbc4-3d499e95bdec/1/
  • Relationships Australia. (2018). Is Australia experiencing an epidemic of loneliness? Findings from 16 waves of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia Survey. Relationships Australia. https://www.relationships.org.au/what-we-do/research/is-australia-experiencing-an-epidemic-of-loneliness
  • Smith, B.J., Lim, M.H. (2020). How the COVID-19 pandemic is focusing attention on loneliness and social isolation. Public Health Research and Practice, 30(2), 3022008. https://doi.org/10.17061/phrp3022008
  • Holt-Lunstadt, J., Smith, T.B., Baker, M., Harris, T., Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytical review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237. https//doi.org/10.1177/1745691614568352.
  • Schumaker, J.F., Shea, J.D., Monfries, M.M., Groth-Marnat, G. (1993). Loneliness and life satisfaction in Japan and Australia. The Journal of Psychology, 127(1), 65-71. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223980.1993.9915543

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the impact of loneliness on the mental health of older people
  • Describe the impact on depression and dementia on the older people in the context of loneliness
  • Identify therapeutic supports that can be utilised with older patients experiencing the effects of loneliness
  • Identify eMental health resources that can be used with older patients

    The Webinar Series

    The webinar series examines some of the online mental health treatment programs that GPs and Allied Health Professionals need to know about, focusing on evidence-based programs that have been developed in Australia. The evidence around the efficacy and usefulness of different programs will be discussed along with practical aspects of using the programs.

    When

    • Tuesday, 1pm AEST 20th July 2021
    • Tuesday, 8pm AEST 20th July 2021

    Audience

    GPs and GP registrars, psychologists and allied mental health practitioners, in fact any health professional with an interest in improving outcomes for patients with mental health conditions.

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