19 - 20 Oct 2020

Aged Care Nursing: Improving Quality of Life Conference

10h 45m
QRC: 4058
cover image

Why Attend

Growing old with purpose and maintaining control of our lives is surely the ultimate challenge that most of us will face. How we help others to do this is imperative. This is one conference you must not miss. It includes:

  • Are medicines a help or a hindrance?
  • How can we assist a person to remain independent for as long as possible?
  • What are the current hot topics in aged care?
  • What is elder abuse and what are the mandatory reporting requirements?
  • Which common medical problems impair independence?
  • What does ‘quality of life’ mean for the older person?
  • What are advance care directives?
  • How can you attune your care to the wishes of the person?


8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Gaynor MacDonald

Communicating with Someone with Dementia

Dementia refers to various disorders impacting on the brain. Depending on the part of the brain affected, it has, at least in the early stages, different presentations. What all dementias have in common is a reduction in the capacity to communicate verbally and make sensory discriminations. This introductory session will look at what capacities are retained, and the significance of this knowledge for our own communicative responses. We will look at:

  • Building on simple principles to enable more effective and less anxiety-provoking approaches
  • What we need to learn about ourselves in order to continue to connect well with a person even through advanced stages of dementia
10:00 Morning Tea

Gaynor MacDonald

Promoting Anti-Ageist Attitudes in Resident Care

When most caregivers were born in a previous generation, there are inevitable gaps in social awareness. Such blind spots can lead to insensitivities and even prejudices. This session looks at how we can overcome ageism in resident care and discusses:

  • How is ageism a social justice issue?
  • What impact does ageism have on the health and wellbeing of residents?
  • What can be done to prevent it?
Danielle Kennedy

What Is Quality of Life?

What is quality of life for an older person? What do we need to consider? What can we do better? This session will look at the different aspects of quality of life, what our role is in supporting quality of life, how our views and opinions influence the care we provide and discusses:

  • Cultural, religious and belief aspect
  • Physical and mental aspect
  • Social and familial aspect
12:15 Lunch and Networking

Danielle Kennedy

The Decision to Have Surgery and the Older Adult

Surgery can be a method to prolong life, but sometimes it may lead to a lower quality of life. This session will explore surgery with older adults, and includes:

  • Discussing realistic surgery and post-surgery goals with the older adult and their family
  • How advanced-care directives can play a big role in an older patient’s decisions surrounding surgery
Jo Russell

Is It Really Dementia?

The increased incidence of dementia sufferers can make it easier to assume a person has this condition when they, in fact, may have another reason for their confusion. This session looks at other causes of confusion in an older person. It will offer tips on what to look for to ensure you are not confusing dementia with other diagnoses. It includes:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Infections
  • Medications
2:45 Afternoon Tea

Margaret Jordan

Medication Safety in the Home

Chronic disease can come with age, and older adults usually have to take multiple medications in order to treat different chronic conditions. This session will look at:

  • Practices of older adults who self-administer their medication (prescribed, over-the-counter and complementary)
  • Why we need to know if our patients are also taking complementary and alternative medicine
  • Tools to determine whether patients are safe to self-administer their medication
  • Strategies to support patients to use medicines more effectively and safely in their home
4:15 Close of Day One of Conference

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Jo Russell

Symptom Management in End of Life

The end of life brings with it potentially distressing signs and symptoms, and management of these symptoms is needed to improve the patient’s quality of life. This session includes:

  • What is the role of artificial hydration when a person is unable to swallow?
  • How can we manage respiratory secretions at the end of life?
  • What can be done in terms of nutrition?
Cheryl Brownlow

Sarcopenia in the Older Adult

A condition that was recently recognised as a disease in Australia, sarcopenia is relatively unknown but may affect the quality of life of an older adult. This session explores:

  • What is sarcopenia?
  • What are the causes of sarcopenia?
  • How can sarcopenia be treated?
  • Is sarcopenia preventable?
10:45 Morning Tea

Cheryl Brownlow

Fading Away – Malnutrition in Older Adults

Evidence clearly shows that health and nutrition go hand-in-hand. As we age this becomes increasingly more significant when an older adult is sick or has been injured. This session will look at the effects of nutrition on an older adult and how malnutrition can quickly become a reality. It includes:

  • How does nutrition affect healing?
  • Does nutrition become more significant with age?
  • Why does malnutrition in older adults occur? Is it related to cognition or something else?
  • How can you prevent malnutrition in older adults?
12:00 Lunch and Networking

Jo Russell

Burden of Disease: Common Health Conditions in Older Adults

This session will discuss common health conditions and risks factors that affect the quality of life in older adults and includes:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Dementia
  • COPD
  • Stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Bowel cancer
  • Hearing loss
  • Osteoarthritis

LGBT+ Older Adults

As the Australian population ages, so do those who are part of the LGBT+ population. This session will discuss:

  • What are the issues faced by LGBT+ older adults?
  • Why do some LGBT+ older adults ‘go back to the closet’ after entering care homes?
  • What are the special considerations for LGBT+ older adults?
  • How can healthcare professionals and providers make aged care more inclusive for LGBT+ older adults?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Catriona Ooi

Older Adults and Sexual Health

Older adults may seem disinterested in sex and intimacy, but studies have shown that older adults still care about it, though not necessarily in the way we think. This session will discuss:

  • What is the relationship between ageing, sexuality and sexual wellbeing?
  • What are the barriers to discussing sexual health with older adults?
  • How can we discuss needs and concerns related to sexuality with older adults?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations


educator avatar

Margaret Jordan

Margaret Jordan is a clinical pharmacist with experience in hospital, community and aged care settings. Margaret has a strong interest in reducing the risk of harm from medicines. She has analysed and researched factors contributing to harm from medicines and implemented programs to reduce risk. Margaret was a member of the recent Anticoagulant Working Party for the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission and a subject matter expert for high-risk medicines module development for opioids and anticoagulants for the NSW Health Education and Training Institute. Margaret has developed and provided training for nurses, pharmacists and medical practitioners. Her most recent roles have been as the project pharmacist for the South-Eastern Sydney Local Health District Opioid Stewardship Program and with the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District Drug and Therapeutics Committee. She is currently the project pharmacist in a general practice, investigating the influence of a pharmacist on the management of high-risk medicines in patients transitioning through healthcare.

educator avatar

Gaynor Macdonald

Dr Gaynor Macdonald is a senior lecturer and consultant anthropologist in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Sydney. Dr Macdonald is a social anthropologist who has focused on ways in which Australian Indigenous peoples have confronted waves of social and cultural change and the impact of these on their understandings of their personhood and social relationships. She is currently writing about the experiences of Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales over the two centuries of their colonial subjectivity. In what might seem a departure, she has recently conducted research into care in the context of dementia. She became aware of the impact of dementia on family members among Wiradjuri people and then became the carer of her husband. Her understanding of dementia as primarily a social experience, involving the person diagnosed as well as all those around them and the society as a whole, has brought her research into personhood and change, her personal insights and case studies of family carers together in order to critique the ways in which dementia is constructed as an incurable disease and the consequent impact of this on carers. The stigmatising of dementia as a life experience has a stunting impact, akin to the impacts of racism, ageism or sexism. There is a long way to go in creating the society in which dementia need not be feared. Similarly, there is a long way to go in creating the society in which differences of all kinds can be respected.

educator avatar

To Be Determined

educator avatar

Catriona Ooi

Catriona Ooi is the Director of Sexual Health for the northern Sydney local area and senior lecturer with the University of Sydney medical school.

educator avatar

Joanne Russell

Joanne Russell is a Nurse Practitioner, endorsed in 2012, who specialises in the care of the older person. Her work in gerontology has spanned the past 20 years, working in the acute care sector, community care, and residential care in Australia and New Zealand. Currently, Joanne works in the emergency department of Ryde Hospital in Sydney as a Nurse Practitioner: aged care and orthogeriatrics. Her role is focused on improving clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients through advanced clinical assessment, interventions and coordinating services across the patient journey. She completed her Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) at the University of Newcastle in 2008 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Palliative Care/Aged Care at Flinders University in 2016.

educator avatar

Cheryl Brownlow

Cheryl Brownlow is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and has worked as a Specialist Aged Care Dietitian within the Sydney Local Health District for many years, most recently focusing in the area of psychogeriatrics. Her primary responsibility has been the nutritional care of older inpatients and outpatients at Concord Hospital and also at the psychogeriatrics unit of the Concord Centre for Mental Health. She has also been involved in working parties looking at optimising the nutritional management and service provision for older patients.

educator avatar

Danielle Kennedy

Danielle Kennedy is a nurse practitioner: aged care who currently works in the Murrumbidgee local health district. After qualifying as a registered nurse in 1996, Danielle spent 15 years working in various healthcare settings in the United Kingdom, predominantly in haemato-oncology with a special focus in intravenous access. In 2009, she began placing PICCs and went on to develop a nurse-led ultrasound guided PICC-insertion service as a part of her master of science (cancer nursing). On returning to Australia, in 2014, she entered a community nurse practitioner internship with a special focus on the older person and was endorsed in May 2017. Danielle is passionate about the role of nurse practitioners in supporting older adults in the regional and rural setting.

Need for Program

The age of the population is increasing and this is not likely to change. As well, the provision of care for older people is currently under the spotlight for a range of negative reasons. Assisting an older person to remain well, to live with purpose and to maintain as much control of their life as possible requires staff who are knowledgeable about normal ageing and skilled in holistic care.

Purpose of Program

This conference provides nurses and related health professionals with specialist knowledge that enables empathetic, holistic care of older adults.

Your learning outcomes

  • Respond to the needs of older people who require person-centred care
  • Plan holistic care in conjunction with older people, who have chronic conditions, that is attuned to their desired outcomes
  • Develop and document care plans that are based on the individual’s preference and current evidence relating to their specific needs
  • Improve the wellbeing of older people by implementing a range of simple but effective activities

Events in other locations

14 - 15 Sep 2020

Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane, QLD, 4000

19 - 20 Oct 2020

Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

26 - 27 Oct 2020

The Lakes Resort Hotel Adelaide
141 Brebner Drive
West Lakes, SA, 5021

22 - 23 Mar 2021

Venue TBA, Brisbane
Brisbane, QLD, --

9 - 10 Sep 2021

Holiday Inn Perth City Centre
778-788 Hay Street
Perth, WA, 6000
19 - 20 Oct 2020

Aged Care Nursing: Improving Quality of Life Conference

10h 45m
QRC: 4058
Rydges Sydney Central
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
Price: $629.00