Longevity and a longer life expectancy is commonplace today. It is not unusual for people to live till 85 or even longer. There have been many research and clinical initiatives that aim to meet the opportunities and challenges that aging populations bring.
Positive Psychology is a scientific study of what makes people thrive. The research has been applied into a wide variety of context such as education, workplace and aging. Research on positive aging deals with the comparative psychological well-being of older adults, their mental and physical health, concepts associated with aging successfully, and how psychological well-being can contribute to better health.
The focus of this course is to demonstrate various strategies to enhance older adults’ positive functioning and well-being based on theories of positive aging and positive psychology research and interventions. In other words, this course will teach participants how to “make happy” in older people and to show how positivity can challenge negative views and ageing myths, and improve their quality of life.
This course encourages the participants to go beyond the biomedical perspectives of ageing (where the emphasis is on the clinical treatment and management of diseases of older adults). It seeks to help care professionals add life to years of older persons and not merely years to life.
Participants will learn key positive psychology interventions skills, practical tips and strategies that can be immediately applied when supporting older people.
Nurses, social workers, counsellors, volunteers and caregivers have a good opportunity to effect positive change and improve quality of life in older persons. With early and proactive positive change, secondary issues such as depression and anxiety may even be alleviated or avoided.
Role-plays, case studies, demonstrations and small group discussions will be used to facilitate experiential learning. Participants will be guided how to develop effective plans and programs based on proven positive psychological interventions.
Upon the completion of the course, you will:
- Understand the needs of older people – psychological factors (needs, concerns, motivations) associated with emotional and behavioural challenges faced by older persons, even in normal ageing, that impact on wellbeing
- Understand what happiness is and the power of positivity (attitude, feelings, words, actions)
- Experientially learn 8 simple, easy-to-use strategies to find meaning and happiness
- Learn how to apply these strategies to enhance and influence engagement with older adults and to help them better manage and cope with social and emotional demands.
- Learn how to establish a positive culture of caring through building of a positive peer support structure and relationships that is sustainable
- Social Workers, Counsellors and Psychologists working in SSAs
- Medical Social Workers, nurses and doctors working in hospitals and medical institutions
- Psychologists and Counsellors working in private practice
- Palliative care physicians
- Family members of aging parents and relatives
Part A : Understand Vulnerability in Older Persons
- Mental health and wellbeing issues
- Risk & Protective factors
- Focus on 3Ps (Positivity, Productivity, Performance)
Activity: Using research & case studies
Part B : Happiness and Positive Psychology
- What is Happiness and Positive Psychology?
- Introduction to positive psychology concepts and principles – the 3 Pillars of Optimal Human Flourishing
- What are Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs)?
- Effective communication skills to supplement the above
Activity: Practise applying principles learned using case studies, role plays
Part C : Steps to Happiness
- Goals & Values
- Random Acts of Kindness
- Strengths and Solutions
- Gratitude & Forgiveness
- Social Networks
- Reflect, Renew & Review
Activity: Practise applying principles learned using case studies, video clips, demonstrations, exercises (written, mindfulness and self-compassion)
Part D: Creating a Positive Culture of Care for older people
- Managing expectations of self and others
- Supporting one another
- Self-care and self-compassion
Activity: Small group discussion on how to support older people and one another.
Activity: Develop a positive psychology intervention plan or programme for an older person or a group of older people.