Accessibility Tools

Engagement and Participation

— Engagement and Participation of Older People

Sixsmith, J., Fang, M. L., Woolrych, R., Canham, S. L., Battersby, L., & Sixsmith, A. 
Ageing well in the right place: partnership working with older people. 
Working with Older People
21(1), 40–48. 
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Purpose: The provision of home and community supports can enable people to successfully age-in-place by improving physical and mental health, supporting social participation and enhancing independence, autonomy and choice. One challenge concerns the integration of place-based supports available as older people transition into affordable housing. Sustainable solutions need to be developed and implemented with the full involvement of communities, service organizations and older people themselves. Partnership building is an important component of this process. The purpose of this paper is to detail the intricacies of developing partnerships with low-income older people, local service providers and nonprofit housing associations in the context of a Canadian housing development.

Mental Health Coordinating Council 
Talking to people at both ends of the age spectrum: Older persons. 
In: Recovery Oriented Language Guide
2nd Ed. 13. 
Full Text


It is vital that when communicating with an older person that they are supported to have their voice heard and their choices understood. Older people should be reassured that their autonomy and ability to self-determine life choices will not be undermined unnecessarily, especially when other disabilities may be involved. Avoid asking others, even those close to them about what they want, unless a person clearly wants someone else to speak on their behalf, or are unable to communicate their preferences.

Banerjee, D., Rabheru, K., Ivbijaro, G., & Mendonca Lima, C. A. de. 
Dignity of older persons with mental health conditions: Why should clinicians care?. 
Frontiers in Psychiatry
Full Text


With a steady increase in population aging, the proportion of older people living with mental illness is on rise. This has a significant impact on their autonomy, rights, quality of life and functionality. The biomedical approach to mental healthcare has undergone a paradigm shift over the recent years to become more inclusive and rights-based.

Mental Health Commission of NSW 
Living well in later life: The case for change. 
Sydney: Mental Health Commission of NSW
Full Text


Putting people first: Being able to take charge of one’s own health and wellbeing is an important component of good physical and mental wellbeing. An absence of self-agency, as well as scepticism about recovery from poor mental health for older people, can negatively impact on their outcomes. Similarly, a lack of recognition of the unique care needs and concerns of older people and those of their carers represent important opportunities to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

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The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum and the National Primary Health Network Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands and waters on which we work and live on across Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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“A lived experience recognises the effects of ongoing negative historical impacts and or specific events on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It encompasses the cultural, spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the individual, family or community.

“People with lived or living experience of suicide are those who have experienced suicidal thoughts, survived a suicide attempt, cared for someone through a suicidal crisis, been bereaved by suicide or having a loved one who has died by suicide, acknowledging that this experience is significantly different and takes into consideration Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ways of understanding social and emotional wellbeing.” - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Lived Experience Centre

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Recognition of Lived Experience

We also recognise people with lived and living experience of mental ill-health and recovery and the experience of people who are carers, families, kin, or supporters.


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