The Need

Whilst our ageing population grows, admission to a nursing home is typically a time of great loss*: loss of independence, inability to fulfill important roles and loss of identity and meaning. Time spent in a nursing home can often be experienced as a period of neglect, loneliness, disconnection, grief and depression.

While many residents struggle to adapt to the many physical changes associated with ageing and illness, they have something uniquely valuable to contribute to the communities in which they live – their own unique life stories.

The Biography Program allows our elders to share their life story and to be known, affirmed, valued and celebrated. Ultimately this can help sustain identity, create a sense of community belonging, cultivate critical relationships and enhance personal meaning and purpose in life.

*Depression is not a normal part of ageing and whilst 10-15% of older people living in the community suffer from depression, rates of depression in residential aged care facilities are 34.7% (BeyondBlue, 2009). Further, the aged population will increase rapidly around 4 times the long-term average between 2012 and 2028 (Productivity Commission, 2005)