Grief has no expiry date – Mixing poetry and health economics methods to explore the bereavement needs of older people

Presenters: Dr Katrin Gerber, NARI & Dr Lidia Engel, Deakin University

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About the presentation

Older people are more likely to experience the death of a close person in their lives than any other age group. However, their bereavement needs are often neglected. In a nationwide, mixed-methods study, we explored how grief affected older people’s health, quality of life, and health service use through quantitative survey data. Combined with qualitative and innovative arts-based methods, this study emphasised the essential role that primary care plays in the bereavement support for older people. Thought-provoking recordings of research poems will emphasise the experiences of bereaved older adults and challenge the notion that grief has an expiry date.

About the presenter

Dr Katrin Gerber is a mental health and end-of-life research fellow at NARI and MARC with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Melbourne. She has over 15 years of experience in mixed-methods research into end-of-life care, psychology and mental health. Her passion for these fields stems from her personal experience as a hospice volunteer and end-of-life family caregiver. In recognition of her achievements in end-of-life research, she was nominated for a National Palliative Care Award in 2019 as an Emerging Researcher.

Dr Lidia Engel is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Deakin Health Economics (Deakin University). As a health economist by training, she specialised in the measurement and valuation of quality of life and informal care, as well as undertaking economic evaluations to guide resource allocation decisions in healthcare. She is currently leading the stream of the ‘Economics of Ageing and Dementia’ at Deakin Health Economics, which focuses on a broad program of economics research with the aim to improve the quality of life and care for older adults and their informal carers.

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Further information: [email protected]

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