Awardee: Dr Louise Lavrencic
Affiliation: Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)
Supporting psychosocial wellbeing with older Aboriginal Australians: Listening to community members' knowledge about Culture and connection
This project aims to better understand and address concepts and approaches for supporting psychosocial wellbeing with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (respectfully referred to as Aboriginal). Wellbeing for Aboriginal people is holistic and approaches to psychosocial wellbeing must be culturally-grounded. Yet, appropriate research with older people is lacking, has not been synthesised/evaluated, and key translation priorities must be outlined. The aims of this project are to:
1. Critically review research on psychosocial interventions for Aboriginal people as they age, focusing on mindfulness-based approaches.
2. Hold a roundtable with stakeholders, including Elders, to disseminate review findings, determine community priorities/potential solutions, and inform policy on psychosocial and lifecourse social determinants of health for older Aboriginal people.
3. Hold a tailored workshop for community members and health, aged care and community service providers to translate findings (from aims 1 and 2) and engage in healing practices.
Dr Louise Lavrencic has a background in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, and undertook her PhD at the University of South Australia investigating structural and functional correlates of cognitive reserve in older adults. She is passionate about understanding the factors that affect cognitive ageing and dementia in late life, and how we can help people to age well. Louise currently works across a number of research and translation projects being run by the Aboriginal Health and Ageing Team at NeuRA, including implementing a co-designed and culturally-grounded stress reduction program in collaboration with Aboriginal communities.