Communicating with Older Adults

A short course to raise awareness and understanding

This course is about creating a better understanding of people over 50 years of age (older adults), to help staff and volunteers better relate to, work with, and serve. We want to give people who are interacting with older adults an overview of this special age group that we just love - what they can expect, how they can adapt, and better ways to interact, to ensure that older adults get the care and support they need and deserve.

There is still a misconception that older adults are irrelevant - they’ve lived a good life but now they should be quiet and be satisfied with what they’re given, and let the rest of us take charge of things. We want people to see though that older adults are an extremely capable, enthusiastic and vibrant group of people who love to live life to the fullest through socialising with friends, travelling, exercising together, and trying new things. Older adults have an impressive capacity for hard work and don’t see themselves as old - they’re still learning, still growing, still experiencing, and still adapting as life changes around them.

We include video conversations that give course participants a first hand perspective from an older adult, as well as sharing experiences from working with older adults for decades. We also have research articles, quizzes, and lots of relevant content for those coming into contact with older adults in communities and workplaces.

At the end of this course we want people to have learnt new or afresh, a couple of things:
* A care and respect for older adults
* Understanding and compassion for the changes and challenges that they are facing
* New skills for relating to and communicating with older adults.

The course trainers both have a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and Older Adults Fitness, and are passionate about educating people with how they can work better with older adults.

Cost: $39.00
Group Rate: Discounts available for groups and organisations. Contact us for prices.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Certificate: Issued upon successful completion
Enrolment period: 60 days


What do we cover?

Lesson 1: Introduction to Older Adults
We define older adults as anyone over the age of 50. This is a huge percentage of the population, and therefore there is incredible diversity amongst this age group. Some are still working full time, some are caring for elderly parents, some are dealing with chronic illness, some are living in retirement villages - but all are dealing with aging bodies. We discuss some of their objectives and motivations, and also have a look at the challenges they are facing, in their personal lives, social lives, financially, emotionally, and physically. It’s a complex time for many.

Lesson 2: The Ageing Process - Physical Changes
The body is an amazing and complex machine of so many moving parts. And unfortunately as we age, all those moving parts start working a little slower, or start breaking down. Some of the physical changes that happen as we age include bone mass loss, osteoarthritis, muscle atrophy, changing body composition, and reduction in flexibility, co-ordination and agility. We talk about each of these and how they affect older adults, and some of the consequences that staff need to be aware of to best care for older adults.

Lesson 3: The Ageing Process - Physiological Changes
Not only are there physical changes that older adults can see and feel, but there are also a multitude of changes happening that they cannot see. These changes include memory loss, a decline in cognitive function, increasing reaction times, and an increased risk of falls. We’ll have a look at each of these and give staff suggestions for how they can help older adults overcome these challenges.

Lesson 4: The Ageing Process - Psychological Changes
Because of the scale and complexity of change that older adults are experiencing, their psychological health is greatly affected. This age group can be experiencing knocks to their confidence from a fall or bad experience, and are at a high risk of isolation, depression and anxiety. They might also be starting to ‘feel old’ and this can have its own set of challenges. We’ll have a look at these areas and help staff think of ways to adapt and support the older adults they meet in their workplace.

Lesson 5: Communication - What we say
When staff are communicating with an older adult at work, it’s usually for a reason - they’re serving them, they’re helping them, they’re making conversation. We want to make sure that staff are heard and understood, so staff need to be able to understand things from the perspective of the older adult, to make sure their message gets across. Here we talk about the language we use, to ensure that it’s appropriate, relevant, and encouraging for older adults.

Lesson 6: Communication - How we say it
We know that it’s not just what you say but how you say it. We have all experienced being brushed off, ignored, misunderstood or mocked - it’s not a nice feeling. Imagine if that was someone’s first interaction with your organisation? Let’s make sure that when we convey our message, it’s a positive one that leaves the older adult happy, as well as informed.

Lesson 7: How we can engage
A smile and a chat can completely make someone’s day, and we want to make sure our interactions give older adults the social and mental benefits they need. We want communities that value and encourage older adults to keep engaging, to play our part in looking after the generations that have come before us. Caring, showing respect, being present and being a friend are critical aspects of this. We’ll discuss these and show staff how they can develop positive relationships to build that spirit of community in your workplace.

Course reviews

Communicating with Older Adults

5 star rating

I'm so inspired! What a great course.

Bree Paynter

I feel so inspired after completing this fantastic course! Not only did I gain an enormous amount of theoretical knowledge, I also learned many practical in...

Read More

I feel so inspired after completing this fantastic course! Not only did I gain an enormous amount of theoretical knowledge, I also learned many practical insights from Carol through her interviews, about the opportunities and challenges that older adults face in their daily lives. Highly recommend!

Read Less
4 star rating

Very good, very thorough and insightful

Kaye Elias

Very good course, covering a lot of practical information with the theory behind it too. It was a reminder for me about how we need to adapt our interactions...

Read More

Very good course, covering a lot of practical information with the theory behind it too. It was a reminder for me about how we need to adapt our interactions and behaviour to accommodate older adults better, and meet them where they are at. Very insightful.

Read Less
5 star rating

Very Informative

Derek Tronetti

Learned some new things and simple strategies that will really go a long way in communicating with older adults.

Learned some new things and simple strategies that will really go a long way in communicating with older adults.

Read Less

Team Training

For organisations and businesses

Do you want to build a team that are informed about older adults, and know how to interact and engage with this wonderful age group? Do you want to make sure that older adults interacting with your organisation have a positive experience and leave feeling valued and respected?

We have great group discount rates for our courses that allow you to train your team of staff or volunteers with ease. We'll take care of enrolments and technical support, and can even send you reports of how many have completed the training. Each participant receives a certificate to show they've successfully completed the training. Let us do all the work for you, to ensure you have a team that understand older adults, and are offering the service and support they need.

Complementary course

Designing for Older Adults

Do you run events, write newsletters, or create websites for older adults? Learn how to design them appropriately and effectively with our design short course!
Online Course: Designing for Older Adults

Or bundle them together!

Two courses together!

Whether you and your team are volunteers or employees, in the community or in big business, we can all learn how to better communicate, and design, for older adults. Save money and complete both our courses together!
Online Course Bundle: Understanding Older Adults