Live Well project for older people
Live Well is a new project being delivered across South Western Sydney in 2022 to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of older people and carers.
What is the Live Well project?
South Western Sydney PHN and South Western Sydney Local Health District’s Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH) Service have partnered to deliver the Live Well project which seeks to empower clinicians to encourage positive lifestyle changes in older people.
The project has an agreement to adapt an intervention from its Canadian developers for use in NSW. This intervention uses behavioural activation techniques to promote healthy lifestyles to improve health, wellbeing and resilience and has been piloted by the OPMH team with older people in South West Sydney.
Who will benefit from the intervention?
This project is aimed for people aged over 65 without dementia (or those who identify as Aboriginal over the age of 50) and their carers.
How does the intervention work?
The intervention is easy to learn, brief, consumer and clinician-friendly, and effective. It can be easily included within routine clinical encounters.
At the first meeting, typically only taking 10 to 15 minutes, the patient is asked about their lifestyle and to look at six key wellbeing domains which underpin healthy ageing, wellbeing and health.
The six domains are:
- physical activity
- healthy eating
- social connections
and three types of mental tasks:
- positive thinking
- mental well-being
- mental activity
In the next step, the patient answers questions about their baseline for each of these domains.
Finally, the patient is asked to choose which one out of the six wellbeing domains they would like to improve and the clinician and patient discuss how to set and achieve a goal relevant to that domain. The patient is encouraged to make small, sustainable cumulative behaviour changes to help achieve better health, wellbeing and resilience over time. Obstacles to achieving this as well as locally accessible resources are discussed.
The next and subsequent encounters take about five minutes, where the patient is asked if they have made any progress towards their goal in the chosen domain, how much they think they have changed and whether or not they will continue to try and improve in that domain or change to a different one. Ongoing advice and encouragement on sustaining health changes is also provided at this stage.
Which clinicians can use the intervention?
Any clinician working in primary or secondary care can use it including staff working in older people’s mental health; geriatric medicine and primary healthcare
How will clinicians be supported?
Clinicians will be given a toolkit which includes posters, goals sheets and behavioural scripts to encourage the hesitant and those who do not want to change. A website will support the consumer, carer and clinician by linking to text and explanatory videos in six languages.
Training is available to clinicians across South Western Sydney.
The first webinar will be held on Tuesday, 16 March at 7pm.
The webinar is worth three CPD points for GPs.