The idea of holistic aged care might sound a little ‘new-agey’, but in fact it’s how all great aged care should be. So what is a holistic approach in aged care, and how can it be beneficial for you or your loved one when moving into assisted living?


What is holistic care in aged care?    

A holistic approach in aged care means that care is centred around that person as a whole, rather than only addressing certain needs. The holistic aged care definition shows that a person is far from a list of ailments: they are someone with hopes and dreams, unique preferences, personal values, meaningful relationships and rich life experiences.

High quality, holistic aged care does not just mean that an ageing person receives the physical and medical support they need – though this is certainly a key aspect of the care model. It also means that the person receives the emotional, social, spiritual and personal support for them to live their life well. This is ideally set out in a care plan that helps everyone on a care team to understand and support the resident in the best ways possible.

Aurrum’s approach to holistic care

At Aurrum we use a person-centred approach to our care planning, where we take into account every new resident’s lifestyle, preferences and support needs by working together with that person and their loved ones. We then tailor a personalised care plan that meets the requirements and wishes of that individual person. 

At Aurrum Aged Care we call our care philosophy Living Life.

The benefits of holistic care in aged care    

Holistic aged care can bring with it a vast range of benefits for each resident and their families. Here are just some of the advantages of a holistic approach.

Support that actually supports 

Rather than feeling patronised or bossed around, holistic care means that each resident can get the support they actually need when they need it. Our care teams are able to deliver care in the most meaningful way for that person, and can also foster deeper relationships with residents because they understand them better.


Holistic care respects a person’s independence and autonomy. They have choice and control over their care, and how they want to live their life. They are seen as a partner in their own care. A holistic approach to aged care helps every resident to feel seen, respected and valued. 

Better health and outcomes

Holistic aged care can support a resident to take part in social and fitness activities and take positive steps for health. Depending on the person and their needs, this could include adapting strength training activities to account for a wheelchair, or helping them to initiate social interactions. A holistic approach can also help a person recover and heal from illness or injury, as there is consideration for their physical, mental and emotional health.

Hope, energy and enthusiasm

In a general sense, holistic care and support helps each resident to live their best life. They’re better supported to enjoy their hobbies, take on new projects, make plans and try new things. Each person is embraced and celebrated for who they are and their unique perspective. 


What does holistic care involve?    

Holistic care can include any number of aspects to ensure all of a person’s needs are being met: from faith, to fun, to food! Here are some of the common factors in person-centred aged care.

Supporting social connection 

Social connection is vital for everyone, but we don’t all socialise in the same way or enjoy the same activities. A holistic approach recognises this, and provides both a diversity in social activities and the personalised support to choose and participate in what each resident wants to do. 

For example, your loved one might get a lot of meaningful connection from music therapy and sing-a-longs if these are part of the lifestyle program. Massage and aromatherapy can be very soothing, particularly if they feel anxious from time to time. If a resident has always loved animals, then they can benefit from our pet therapy visits and outings to zoos or parks. And if they are creative souls, then they might love visits to art galleries and museums, as well as art and craft therapy sessions.

Recognising cultural and religious values

Religious faith can be incredibly important to who a person is. The way people worship, pray and practise their religion can be very personal and unique, even within the same religious denomination. With a holistic aged care approach, every resident is supported in their religious and cultural practices. This will naturally look different for each person. 

For example, one resident might need assistance to pray multiple times a day, while another might like their family to visit and attend a church service once a week and on key religious dates. Cultural diversity such as ethnicity, language, traditions and customs are also supported on an individual basis.

Adjusting for personal tastes and preferences

Let’s face it – we don’t all eat the same way! Some people have intolerances to gluten or dairy, while others have allergies. Some people simply don’t love pineapple. One person might love a coffee mid-morning, while others prefer cups of tea throughout the day. These things all matter in who we are. Understanding each resident’s requirements and preferences when it comes to food is key in delivering holistic aged care

With Aurrum’s food culture, fresh seasonal produce is cooked onsite by chef-led teams and our menus are developed in consultation with nutritionists. This gives us a delicious and healthy standard for meals and snacks, which our team can then adapt to suit individual tastes, palettes and dietary requirements. The result is joyful, nourishing food for every resident.

Tailoring care for health and clinical needs

Aged care providers must all deliver a high standard of clinical and medical care, but a holistic approach in aged care considers the whole picture for good health and wellbeing. 

For example, someone with chronic pain could benefit from gentle exercises such as yoga or light strength training. They might also gain value from consulting with accredited physiotherapists, dieticians or other allied health professionals, which we can help to arrange. And even things like a daily walk around the garden might make a big difference for that person’s physical comfort and wellbeing. With holistic care, every part of a person’s care plan is thoughtfully developed in order to ensure a resident is as comfortable, healthy and happy as they can possibly be.

Adapting to changing needs and preferences

Lastly, it’s important to note that a holistic approach to aged care is not a static process. Just as people’s needs and preferences change, so should care plans to suit. Having a proactive, person-centred and dynamic care planning approach, such as Living Life, will ensure the highest level of care is provided at all times.


Finding a holistic aged care home    

Holistic aged care can help you or your loved one ease the transition into residential aged care, get tailored support, and ultimately live well. Finding the right aged care provider can be tough, but seeking out a provider that values holistic care can be a useful first step. You can search for aged care providers in your area at the Australian Government’s My Aged Care website


Experience holistic care in NSW and Victoria

At Aurrum Aged Care we incorporate a holistic approach to every aspect of life in residential care at our aged care facilities, from home-cooked meals to our leading memory support program. We deliver care in a way that recognises you as the person you really are.

To explore the possibilities at an Aurrum Aged Care location near you and to book a tour, simply contact our team today.