Self-care of older Australians

Chronic health conditions, loneliness and social isolation are predictors of functional decline and premature death in older persons. This mixed-method scoping study will seek to address the “Living Well, Longer” challenge by exploring the self-care, and GPN support of older persons affected by disaster.

While general practice nurses (GPNs) are well-positioned within community settings to support older persons to remain independent and healthy, little is known about how older persons maintain self-care and connection with GPNs during periods of natural disaster and pandemic (hereafter referred to as disaster). Older residents in Eurobodalla have lived experience of the 2018 and 2020 bushfires, and more recently, they have been subject to public health measures restricting movement associated with COVID-19.

This study will bring together an interdisciplinary team of health professionals and researchers to answer the following research questions:

  • What factors impact the self-care of older persons living with chronic health conditions during a disaster?
  • How can GPNs contribute to identifying and supporting the self-care of socially isolated older people in their local community?

Findings from this study will enable interventions to be developed that support older persons to remain independent and live longer in their local community.


Elizabeth Halcomb (SMAH), Sharon James (SMAH), Katharine Haynes (SMAH), Cristina Thompson (BAL), Marijka Batterham (EIS).


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing     Goal 10: Reduced inequalities    Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals