Older people who require a high level of support to continue living in their own homes are twice as likely to experience depression compared to older people who need less support.
In addition, the rate of depression among older people living in residential care is believed to be much higher than that of the general population – around 35 per cent (see Snowdon and Fleming research), or one in three residents (National Ageing Research Institute, Depression in older age: A scoping study, 2009).
The rate of anxiety in these groups is unconfirmed, but believed to be higher than depression.
Further, older men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in the population.
It was these statistics, coupled with the limited training options (National Ageing Research Institute, Scoping study of health professional education and training in older age depression and anxiety, 2010), which led Beyond Blue to initially develop the PEAC face-to-face workshops for aged care staff, which has now been converted into a free, interactive online learning program.
About the PEAC e-learning program
Beyond Blue's Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) e-learning program aims to improve the detection and management of anxiety and depression experienced by older adults in residential and community aged care settings.
The PEAC online program is appropriate for non-clinical, clinical and allied health staff working in residential and community settings.
Aged care staff complete 5 or 6 modules based on their job role and workplace setting (selected on registration). The modules are self-paced, but must be completed in sequential order. Each module takes approximately 1 hour to complete.
The modules in the program include:
- Understanding anxiety and depression
- Anxiety and depression in older people
- Promoting the mental health of community aged care clients (community setting only)
- Promoting the mental health of aged care residents
- Identifying and responding to suicide in aged care settings
- Managing anxiety and depression in aged care clients and residents (clinical role only)
- Looking after your mental health at work
Accessing the program
Aged care staff need to register at: peac.beyondblue-elearning.org.au/ to access the program. Your registration will then direct you to the most appropriate course for your role and setting.
For further enquiries relating to Beyond Blue's aged care educational projects, please contact us.