Topic: Safe and inclusive aged care for Forgotten Australians and other care leavers: how to get it right

Day: Thursday 22 October 2020

Time:  1:30pm-1:50pm AEDT


Forgotten Australians and other care leavers are the over 500,000 people who were placed in institutional or out-of-home care as children. As this group approach or enter older age, many live with the lifelong effects of psychological trauma associated with their childhood experiences. Despite being included as a special needs group in the Aged Care Diversity Framework, there exists little guidance for aged care providers about how to provide safe and accessible care for this population.
To fill this gap we conducted multi-methods research including interviews and focus groups with older Forgotten Australians, family members and friends of Forgotten Australians, and professionals working in the aged care and social service industries.Strong themes emerged from this research about the inaccessibility of existing aged care services because of limited literacy (including digital literacy), risk for re-traumatisation, a narrow view of aged care as limited to residential care, and a profound fear of being ‘re-institutionalised’.
Based on this work, we developed pragmatic recommendations for aged care providers to be launched in October 2020. These freely available and evidence-based recommendations provide a series of strategies that can be enacted now to improve the accessibility of services, as well as broader recommendations for systems change.
This presentation will describe the development of the recommendations and provide an overview of how they can be enacted within existing resources. Key recommendations include methods to screen for traumatic triggers, build trust, and offer service flexibility.


Monica Cations is a provisional psychologist and early career epidemiologist who has worked in the ageing and dementia field for over a decade. Her research is translational with a focus on psychological wellbeing in aged care environments and young people using aged care. Monica leads a number of collaborative research projects aiming to improve the quality and safety of aged care, supported by a South Australian Hospital Research Foundation Early Career Fellowship.