St Vincent’s Care unveils video series to help guide ‘messcessary’ aged care conversations

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St Vincent’s Care – the aged care arm of St Vincent’s, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care organisation – is launching the second season of its highly successful Celebrating You video series, which aims to encourage early conversations between elderly people and their loved ones as they make decisions around their future care needs.


The three-part series interviews St Vincent’s Care residents, family members, and staff and covers some of the difficult discussions adult children often have with their parents about aged care, including the challenges of being a carer, the guilt loved ones can experience when they support their elderly family member into care, and the unexpected benefits of residential aged care living.

To prepare for the second season of Celebrating You, St Vincent’s Care returned to working with Seniors Cinematic, which was the creative partner for the first season.

Lincoln Hopper, St Vincent’s Care’s CEO, said the aim of Celebrating You – and its accompanying podcast ‘Navigating Aged Care’, which features interviews with St Vincent’s experts in aged care and health, launched at the same time – was to shed light on the ageing process and help people step through the ins-and-outs they may face along the journey.

Says Lincoln: “We want Celebrating You to inspire people to have early conversations with their loved ones about ageing, so they feel better prepared when they have to make some big decisions.

“The earlier and more open these conversations can be, the better aged care result for everyone.

“We understand launching into and walking through these discussions can be hard. They can be charged and emotional.

“At St Vincent’s, we’ve coined a phrase to describe these sometimes difficult conversations: ‘messcessary’ – they can be ‘messy’ but they’re also ‘necessary’.

“With Celebrating You, we wanted to provide a vehicle that could help facilitate and guide these conversations. Our first season was so warmly received, we felt that a second season could build on its success.”

St Vincent’s Care unveils video series to help guide ‘messcessary’ aged care conversations

James Boshier, head of marketing at St Vincent’s Care, said he hoped the series would prepare Australians to make informed decisions when the time comes: “We didn’t want to shy away from the challenges of aged care, because if you just sugar-coat it, you don’t meet the audience where they’re at.

“People considering residential aged care are often stressed and anxious. Adult children are feeling guilty about placing their parent into aged care. We want to connect with them and say, ‘that’s normal – let us guide you through that range of emotions and give you hope’. These are lovely welcoming communities where you can flourish, where you can find new things that engage you, and that will open you up to a new chapter.”

Says Lincoln: “We had such incredible feedback after the first season of Celebrating You. It seemed to really strike a chord with people.

“At the same time, we believe it contributed to a range of other benefits for St Vincent’s Care. In the wake of Celebrating You Season 1, St Vincent’s Care had a 10% increase in aided awareness and our occupancy rates moved past 95 per cent.”

The ‘stars’ of Celebrating You Season 2 include Grace and her daughter Sheridan. Sheridan explains how her mother Grace was initially hesitant to engage with her new community until she took on a role as a volunteer receptionist at her aged care home’s front desk – a decision which enabled her to connect with other residents and new found colleagues.

Then there are adult siblings Brian and Margaret and their 102-year-old mother Gwen. Gwen entered care at 92 and has forged a special bond with her Diversional Therapist, Eta, who has cared for her for more than nine years. Eta believes in celebrating each moment, ensuring that residents like Gwen can be themselves at every stage of life.

Says Lincoln: “So much of the public discussion around aged care – including at the policy and political level – is around the clinical: how many minutes of care, how many staff are on deck, how many dollars are being spent. These are all important issues, but they ignore the personal…and that’s overwhelmingly at the heart of what aged care is about.

“We need to be having discussions around what gives residents meaning and purpose in aged care. Too often those conversations are ignored. Celebrating You is all about identifying the need for those conversations and creating a safe space for them to take place.”

Client: St Vincent’s Care Services
Chief Executive Officer: Lincoln Hopper
Head of Marketing: James Boshier
SVC Marketing team: Thomas Delaney, Jesse Gramenz, Lorena Gonzalez, Chloe Coelho, Ciara Ballantyne, Caitlyn Wright.

Agency: Seniors Cinematic
Production Co: Seniors Cinematic
Director: Michael Cristian Greene
Executive Producer: Mia-Danica Jamora
Director of Photography: Jake Koning
1st Assistant Camera: Sandy McLennan
Production Assistant: James Olney
Production Runner: Merinda Morley
Gaffer: Peter Sutton
Best Boy: Tobias Andersson
Sound Recordist: Joseph Dutaillis
Key Hair and Make-Up: Sandra Wograndl
Hair and Make-Up Assist: Abbey Hardwick
Stills Photographer: Kev Bouquet
BTS Videographer: Kota Sato
BTS Assistant: Nathan Rathsam
Senior Editor: Link Masters
Colorist: Marcus Friedlander

Director of Photography: Sandy McLennan
2nd AC: Finn O’Neill