Aged care for the ‘forgotten Australians’
Flinders University researchers are turning their attention to the ‘Forgotten Australians’ and developing models of aged care for survivors of psychological trauma.
From 1900 until 1980, approximately 500,000 Australian children were placed in institutional care. The reasons are wide and varied, and include mental illness, family poverty, sexual abuse, or domestic violence.
Unfortunately for many, the time spent in care was marked by traumatic neglect and abuse. Inadequate care and exploitation were commonplace. The Forgotten Australians carry the effects of these experiences with them and report high rates of mental illness, disability, poverty, and homelessness.
The Forgotten Australians are now getting older, and many of those exposed to traumatic events have now entered the aged care system. Unfortunately, the system isn’t fully prepared, and trauma-informed models of care have received little attention in the aged care sector.
With the help of a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant, Flinders University Research Fellow Dr Monica Cations aims to identify the specific aged care needs of Forgotten Australians and establish evidence-based recommendations for aged care providers and policy makers to help implement trauma-informed care practices into aged care environments.
This research is made possible thanks to a generous supporter and generous donations from the community.
Project title: Developing safe and inclusive models of aged care practice for survivors of psychological trauma: Learning from the Forgotten Australians
Lead researcher: Dr Monica Cations