REHA 3019 Occupation and Ageing

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 400176

Coordinator Ali Gebhardt Opens in new window

Description In this unit, students will examine the ageing process using the biopsychosocial model, and reflect on their own attitudes towards ageing, including how social stereotypes of older people must be challenged to promote a positive view of this stage of life. Students will gain knowledge about how occupational performance may be impacted due to ageing, including common conditions assessed and treated by occupational therapists. Students will use research evidence to prepare occupational therapy intervention plans that promote quality of life and maximum social participation for clients' and their families.

School Health Sciences

Discipline Occupational Therapy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) REHA 2004 REHA 3021


This is a specialty subject offered as a compulsory core subject of the occupational therapy program. It is profession specific, preparing students to practice as an occupational therapist and not relevant as an elective for non-occupational therapy students. Students must be enrolled in programs 4663 Bachelor of Health Science/Masters of Occupational Therapy and 4664 Master of Occupational Therapy or 4711 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy or 4712 Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically examine the process of ageing using the biopsychosocial model.
  2. Reflect on and discuss social and personal values and beliefs that shape images of ageing in western society.
  3. Examine the occupational performance areas impacted by the ageing process and discuss the changes older people and their families face in this stage of life.
  4. Design an occupational therapy client intervention for older people and their families that promotes social participation using best available evidence.
  5. Critically examine the community services and supports available for older people and their families to enhance well-being and quality of life.
  6. Examine theories on death and dying and the philosophies of hospice and palliative care and apply these to an occupational therapy approach with clients who have reached the end of life.

Subject Content

1. Ageing, ageism and culture
2. Disability and ageing
3. Healthy ageing and health promotion
4. Occupational performance areas impacted by the ageing process: personal (physical, cognitive, and psychological component skills), social (changes to relationships, sexuality, work roles, retirement, financial) and community (housing, support services, driving)
5. Common diagnoses affecting occupational performance in older adults (including palliative care)
6. Evaluating age-related occupational performance problems (including driving)
7. Occupational therapy intervention for age-related occupational performance problems (including care-giving and pressure care) and how aged care reform agendas shape how services are delivered  
8. Effective working relationships with older clients and their families
9. Integrating the above content areas to provide occupational therapy services that promote social participation of older people and their families


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 1,200 words 30 N Individual
Case Study 1,200 words 30 N Individual
Viva Voce 15 minutes 40 Y Individual

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)



Subject Contact Ali Gebhardt Opens in new window

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Spring (2024)



Subject Contact Ali Gebhardt Opens in new window

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