Wellbeing Support Service for Older Adults

Online resources for RACF staff and families of residents

Welcome to the Wellbeing page.

COVID-19 has had a huge effect on the emotional wellbeing of many aged care residents, resident’s families, aged care staff and their families. Due to restrictions and uncertainty many people find themselves feeling isolated, lonely, worried, anxious, depressed or just plain stressed.

You spend so much time caring for the residents we wanted to put some resources together to support you and let you know that you are cared for too.

Star Health provides the Wellbeing Support Service for Older Adults. This program is an in-reach service to Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) where trained psychologists and social workers provide support to residential aged care residents. Pre COVID we worked face to face with residents. Now it is also available as a telehealth or phone service.

Whilst we can work closely with RACF staff and residents’ families to support residents we are not able to provide direct support or counselling to RACF staff or resident’s families.

COVID has changed everything for everyone and we want to provide this information so that you know where you can access the support you require.

We have put together links and information for you on

We have put together a page of resources to help you look after your mental health.

Please try a few.

Emergency numbers

Where to find help –

Police, Fire, Ambulance000Emergency assistance
Life Line13 11 14Crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services
Suicide Callback Line1300 659 467People affected by suicide
Suicide Helpline1300 651 251SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone, video and online counselling service for people at risk of suicide, people concerned about someone else’s risk of suicide and people bereaved by suicide.
1800 RESPECT1800 737 732Open 24/7 for Family Violence support & advice plus information on how to access a counsellor in your local area.
Safe Steps1800 015 188Open 24/7 for Family Violence support & advice plus information on how to access a counsellor in your local area.
Grief Line1300 845 745Support for people who are experiencing loss and grief, Lines open from midday to 3am 7 days
Beyond Blue1300 22 4636 Information and support if you are not coping well or feeling overwhelmed.
Direct Line1800 888 236People impacted by drug use and wanting to discuss this with someone
Beyond Blue - Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing1800 512 348Click here to visit website
National Debt Helpline1800 007 007Free Financial counselling Click here to visit website
Seniors Rights Victoria1800 368 821A confidential service providing advice, information and support to older people experiencing elder abuse. For elder abuse information in other languages click the link below.

Click here to visit website

Free Counselling for you via Telehealth

National Telehealth Counselling Service for Aged Care

A free telehealth service is being offered by the Swinburne Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults to provide emotional support to residents and staff working in residential aged care homes and resident’s families via phone or video calls.

Counsellors are available to provide emotional support and to assist addressing problems, worries, or stresses.

Counsellors can be in contact regularly to provide support over the next few months.

Private & Confidential

You do not need a referral from a GP or health care professional to access this service.

Referrals and appointments are made online using the online referral form click here.

For frequently asked questions click here.

Swinburne National Telehealth Counselling Service
Click here to visit website

For easy English resources for community members explaining the use of Telehealth please click here.

Your Wellbeing

Sometimes we can get a bit stuck for ideas. What could we do to help with our own wellbeing every day?

8 ways to look after yourself during COVID –

Maintain routines where possible

Connect with family and friends (even if not in person)

Stay physically active

Eat healthy foods

Consider limiting time on social media

Limit exposure to media coverage

Show compassion and kindness to one another

Seek additional support from your GP or other professionals listed in the emergency service contacts

5 Ways to Wellbeing

The Royal Melbourne Hospital have put together a resource called 5 ways to Wellbeing. They have lots of good ideas if you’re not sure what you could be doing.

Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Be Aware and Help Others

Visit website

Head to Health

Head to Health can help you find the right digital mental health resources to support you through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit website

Taking care of yourself in isolation

enliven has created a number of easy English resources to help people get through the COVID pandemic.

Their resource called Taking care of yourself in isolation covers ways for older people to look after their health and wellbeing during isolation.

Click on the pictures below to find out more:

Free Relaxation and Stress Reduction Apps

The internet and digital technologies can be great but sometimes we don’t know where to start.

To help, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular ones.

You can use them on a tablet or smart phone.

Click on the link to go to the app store.


Colouring in is a great way to relax; it promotes mindfulness and helps you to focus your mind on something. This app is full of images such as florals, animals, cats, nature, famous paintings, and mandalas to colour in.

Relaxing Sounds

Daily living can make people feel stressed and anxious, so it’s important to relax. This app contains a wide variety of soothing nature recordings designed to create a calming and relaxing environment for the listener. Sounds include forest and campfire, sea, river and waterfall, bird and other animal sounds.

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Want to learn the essentials of meditation and mindfulness? The Headspace app can help when things get too overwhelming. This app guides the user through a series of short meditations. It is initially free to download, but users will be required to pay to unlock additional material.

Soothing Sleep Sounds

Staff working long hours in aged care facilities can sometimes lose track of what time of day or night it is, and this can impact their sleep cycle and could lead to insomnia. An app like Soothing Sleep Sounds is designed to offer just that – sounds that will soothe you to sleep.


This app was developed by the Alfred Hospital for their medical staff.  It’s a simple app to help reduce stress and the pressures of daily living. It has more than 30 different guided meditations. The app is designed to give you the opportunity to unwind and manage stress levels. Great for children aged 8 upwards.

Other free apps and webpages:

Smiling Mind

Smiling mind now has added options especially for kids.

Breath2Relax app

MoodTools app

Stop, Breath, & Think app

Free Relaxation Music

When we did a search of the “best sleep music” we came up with these options from YouTube. YouTube has lots of free relaxation music. Here are three to get you started.

Click on the blue links below. Then lie back and listen to the music and drift off to sleep or just relax in a quiet space.

Please do not play these if you are driving.

Find information on relaxation exercises – breathing exercises, muscle relaxation & guided meditation from Beyond Blue by clicking the link below.

Click here

Mental Health Information and Support

Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

3 million Australians are living with anxiety or depression.

Get immediate support.

All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential. They may ask for your first name and some general details, you can let them know if you’d like to remain anonymous.

We all have good days and bad days. Then there are those days when something isn’t quite right, you’ve got something on your mind, or things just seem too much. Whatever it may be, sharing the load with someone else can really help. So, no matter who you are, or how you’re feeling, you can talk it through with Beyond Blue– they’ll point you in the right direction, so you can seek further support.

Last year people in Australia accessed our service more than 192,000 times to discuss their concerns – both big and small – and you can too.

Find information on relaxation exercises – breathing exercises, muscle relaxation & guided meditation from Beyond Blue here


Interpreters at Beyond Blue

Click on the links below if you want to book an interpreter to talk to someone at Beyond Blue.

Beyond Blue also have up-to-date information on mental health – 
Click on the links below to get more information

Older people and mental health

Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors such as physical illness or personal loss.

It is thought that between 10 and 15 per cent of older people experience depression and about 10 per cent experience anxiety.1 Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care are believed to be much higher, at around 35 per cent.2

Unfortunately, many people over 65 still seem to feel there is a stigma attached to depression and anxiety, viewing them as weaknesses or character flaws rather than a genuine health condition.

Older people are also more hesitant to share their experiences of anxiety and depression with others, often ignoring symptoms over long periods of time and only seeking professional help when things reach a crisis point.

The good news is help is available, effective treatments exist for older people and with the right treatment most older people recover.

Click on the links below to find out more…

For some older people, talking about personal matters might not come easily.

They may have never really talked about how they feel; it wasn’t the thing to do when they were growing up.

Others worry about what will happen as a result of sharing their experiences; they do not want to be seen as a burden and they don’t want to be treated differently.

Some also worry that asking for help might be seen as a weakness.

But the community and its understanding of mental health issues has come a long way in the time that they have been alive & we hope that the community’s knowledge and understanding of mental health continues to grow.

Elder Abuse – What you need to know

A resident’s mental health may also be significantly impacted if they are experiencing elder abuse.

Information from the 2015 report  Elder abuse: Understanding issues, frameworks and responses by the Australian Institute of Family Studies says that:

  • Is likely that between 2% and 14% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year
  • That most elder abuse is by family members
  • Financial abuse appears to be the most common form of abuse experienced by elderly people.

Click here to learn more about what Elder abuse is and how to you can support residents who may have experienced elder abuse.


Better Place’s Elder Abuse Prevention Services provide

– training for residential staff

– support for elderly people who maybe at risk of elder abuse

– trained mediators who can work with elderly people and their families.

Wellbeing Support Program for RACF Residents

The Wellbeing Program provides supportive counselling for residents in your RACF.  Have a chat with your Wellbeing Worker onsite or by phone.

Alternatively, you can fill out a Wellbeing Referral and fax it to the number on the form or contact one of our Triage Clinicians on: 9684 4281.

Wellbeing Support Services Brochure

Wellbeing Program Referral Form

Grace, Sue, Karen, Chris, Chris, Dona, Julie, Deidre & Michelle would be only too happy to talk to you about how the program could help the residents of your RACF.

Look for the Wellbeing posters – coming soon.

We hope the information provided will be helpful and support you in what is a very complex time for many people.

If you have any suggestions or comments about the page please feel free to send us an email at wellbeing@starhealth.org.au

We wish you & your family all the very best from all of us at the Star Health Wellbeing Program,

Take care & be kind.


Regards & best wishes,

The Wellbeing Team at Wellbeing Support Services for Older Adults
Star Health

Thank-you to you – the residential staff.

To the volunteer staff, laundry staff, kitchen staff, cleaning staff, personal care workers, nurses, reception staff, managers, maintenance staff, lifestyle workers, hairdressers and everyone who works onsite,

Everyone at the Wellbeing Program would like to say “Thank-you”.

We see the extra work that you put in.

We see the extra care you take with residents.

We see the extra things you do to make a resident feel cared for.

We know that you don’t do this for the thank-you, that you do it because you care.

We would like to say “Thank-you” for the care that you show to the residents and for the help that you give us when we are onsite.

You help us to support your residents’ wellbeing.