We provide a range of group programs for older adults living in residential aged care settings in Melbourne, Victoria and when possible, in other parts of Australia. We also offer support groups for families and friends of aged care residents. In addition, we run autobiographical life-writing groups for anyone aged 60 years or older.  

About group programs

Group programs are held onsite at your residential aged care facility or virtually (online) depending on the type of group and participants. A major focus of these programs is to help older adults engage with each other, have fun, support each other and reflect on their lives. Groups can also help participants cope with life transitions, relationship changes and loss. 

Examples of our group programs

The group programs provide group-based psychological and emotional services to aged care residents, their families and friends, and older adults in general. Some groups are provided onsite at the residential aged care facility, while others are held online. 

Reminiscence groups

These groups are held at residential aged care facilities to bring residents together to discuss past events and relationships, reflect on shared experiences in a light-hearted and enjoyable manner, and help residents get to know each other and learn more about other participants.

Men’s groups

These groups are held at residential aged care facilities for men living in such facilities. Since men are typically in the minority in residential aged care facilities, these groups are designed to help men discuss topics of common interest and engage in activities that reflect their expertise or past hobbies.  

Carer support groups

These groups are held onsite or virtually (online) to address the emotional stress of family or friends of aged care residents by creating a comfortable and structured space for discussion and learning. They also provide carers an opportunity to reflect on transitions in their relationship and identity, learn skills for self-care, discuss issues shared with other carers and learn how to support relatives in care.

Download our Carer Support Group flyer [PDF 165KB]

Autobiographical life-writing groups

These groups are held virtually (online) and are open to anyone aged 60 years or older who is interested in reflecting on changes in their physical health, sense of self (identity) and sense of meaning as they age. They also encourage older adults with chronic or life-limiting health conditions to participate, write about their illness in the wider context of their life-story and share reflections with others who may be in a similar life stage.

Download our Life-Writing Group flyer [PDF 139KB]

Frequently asked questions

We offer groups for aged care residents (i.e. anyone living in Australian residential aged care facilities), carers (i.e. family or friends of aged care residents) and older adults in general.

 As a resident, you may also like to join reminiscence or men’s groups. If you are an older adult aged 60 or over, and are living with a life-limiting illness, you might like to reflect on your experiences with others who are in a similar life stage.

As a family member, relative or friend of an aged care resident, you might like support dealing with your own questions, worries, anxieties or stress about the resident or how best to support the resident. 

Please note that our capacity depends on a number of considerations. For example, we may not be able to run group programs without a sufficient number of participants or without facilitators in your facility. 

There is no cost for you to use this service.

Group programs that are run onsite at residential aged care facilities require approval of the facility manager. If you are a facility manager or designee, and would like such group programs in your facility, please contact us.

You can refer yourself or others (e.g. an older family member, relative, friend or aged care resident in your facility) to our group programs. When referring someone else, they need to consent for us to contact them.

To request our services for yourself or another person, or for queries, please complete our contact form. You do not need a referral from a GP or health care professional. If you are unsure if this is the right service for you or others, please contact us to discuss how we can support you. 

When we receive a referral, we will contact you to confirm that we have received it and may ask you questions to determine how we can best assist you or the person you have referred.

If you have referred someone else, we will first contact you to learn more about the person’s circumstances and ensure they have consented to being contacted. We will then contact the person whom you have referred to us.

Our facilitators are fully registered psychologists, experts in autobiographical life-writing, as well as provisionally registered psychologists, social work interns and postgraduate counselling students, who are under supervision of experienced practitioners.

We are aware that many of the issues that will be discussed in group programs are highly private. We maintain strict levels of confidentiality in accordance with our professional accreditation standards. Our facilitators may need to share your information with their clinical supervisors.

Consistent with our duty-of-care obligations, if you are in danger of harming yourself or others, we must take steps to prevent harm, and hence we may need to disclose your identity to keep you or others safe.

If you are living in a residential aged care facility, we may also need to discuss your circumstances with facility staff if we believe that it would be in your best interest. However, we will always ask for your consent and discuss with you whom we could approach before we share your information with staff.

Did you know?

The Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults also provides telehealth counselling (phone- or video-based) and face-to-face counselling to aged care residents, their families and aged care staff.

How can I join the team?

As we expand our service, we may need group facilitators and clinical supervisors. If you would like to join our team as a clinical supervisor, please complete our contact form.

If you are interested in joining our team as a group facilitator, please refer to the placement information and complete the application form.

Get in contact

If you would like to know more about our services or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on +61 3 9214 3371, email us at wellbeingclinic_agedcare@swinburne.edu.au or complete our contact form.

Contact us