Older Person's Care

Program Leader - Professor Isabel Higgins


The Collaborators for Older Person's Care (COPC) (PDF, 294.83 KB) team in the Collaborating Centre for Older Person's Care collaborate on research and scholarly activity relating to the provision of optimal care for older people in a range of settings.

We respond to issues and concerns in pursuit of Person Centred Care for older people. We seek to understand the experience of older adults and their families or significant others in a range of contexts in which they deal with and manage their health concerns. Under-pinning our research collaborations is the need to build research capacity and evidence within a multidisciplinary framework and give nursing input and direction to policy and practice.

We seek collaborations that aim to have a maximum impact on health outcomes for older people. We make a contribution to the research community and scholarship within local, regional, national and international discussion groups and conferences.


  • To conduct research that optimizes outcomes for older people in a range of health care settings
  • To collaborate on interdisciplinary research programs that inform policy and practice in older person care.
  • To contribute to national and international debate on the health concerns and issues relating to older people
  • To build capacity for a future generation of researchers

Research themes

  • Symptom management
    • Prevention of delirium
    • Early detection of dementia
    • Assessment and management of pain
    • Evaluation, uptake of clinical guidelines
  • Life transitions & end of life care
    • Nutrition & hydration at end of life
    • Advance care planning
    • Ethical issues in end of life care
  • Family and carers
    • Family members' and carer's needs
    • Family experiences of delirium
    • Consumer directed care
  • Models of care
    • ED model of care
    • Chronic disease self-management


Expertise includes qualitative methodologies, quantitative approaches, and mixed methods. In particular, we have experience in using action research, phenomenology, ethnography, critical ethnography, discourse analysis, case study, evaluation studies and RCTs in acute health care and residential aged care settings.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.