Successful 2017–2018 grant recipients
Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers
Green Gym is a physical activity program that involves older Australians in practical food growing or conservation activities that improve health and wellbeing, and creates vibrant community green spaces. Imagine fun and free outdoor sessions that involve participation in light-to-vigorous functional exercise. The emphasis is on health and social interaction as participants come together to contribute to their community.
Each session runs for three hours and will be held in three locations each week. Focus areas are:
1. improving physical health, well-being and health literacy
2. intergenerational learning
3. moving significantly closer towards the sustainable UK model of 'community-led' Green Gyms.
Bathurst Seymour Centre
The Ageing Well project will develop and trial a health and wellness program for older people. There will be four programs covering education, relaxation and exercise. This is an intergenerational program that will involve assistance from students from TAFE and Charles Sturt University, and older volunteers (aged in their 50s and 60s).
Camden Council will host a series of 12 Connection Cafés for older people of all abilities for a period of 12 months. The focus of the Café will be a one-stop information shop that provides information about health, social and service provision in a variety of formats, including one-on-one conversations with services, and accesses information from technology, large print and easy read resources. Each Café will also promote a different activity to scope interest for further social and affordable activities, including arts and culture, health and wellbeing, exercise, and technology.
Charles Sturt University
How easy is it for older people to walk around Australia’s regional and rural cities? This project measures walkability specifically for older people in regional and rural cities, including selecting and validating appropriate factors that contribute to this measure. Mapping and analysing walkability helps councils to better address this important component of liveability, allowing increased access to social and economic life, and improved health and wellbeing for older regional and rural Australians.
Civic Disability Services
Ring O’Roses is a creative ageing initiative that will bring together elderly residents and people with disability in the Sutherland Shire. Civic Disability Services will partner with event venues offering them a way to up-cycle flower arrangements, and with aged care groups/facilities to socially engage their members/residents. The Ring O’Roses team, made up of people with disability, staff and volunteers, will collect flowers and then re-arrange and distribute them to elderly people at risk of social isolation.
The Festival of Learning will provide opportunities for participants to engage with learning and will be a celebration of the ageing process and the life learning and knowledge of the participants. The Festival will be held during Adult Learners Week (September 2018) and during National Volunteer Week (May 2019). The Festival will take the form of a series of workshops, seminars and professional development covering a range of subjects from dancing; Tai Chi and music; local and family history; art classes; and seminars on ageing and what that means financially and emotionally.
Council on the Ageing NSW
The 'Living Longer, Living Stronger' program is a progressive strength training program for older people that is currently delivered in gyms across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW will pilot the program in NSW. The program is designed to increase participants strength, balance, flexibility, coordination and confidence, as well as reducing their risk of falls; and increase opportunities for socialising and reducing social isolation. Research demonstrates that strength training can also help to prevent or manage conditions like type-two diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis and depression.
Cycling Without Age (CWA) aims to bring people together by sharing experiences on a bike. The specially designed Trishaws allow local volunteers to visit local aged care and senior citizens facilities, and offer older people an opportunity to be a passenger on the Trishaw – to go for a ride, and be involved in local activities. CWA is based on the principle that older people can remain an active part of society and the local community, and fosters intergenerational relationships. It has benefits for the people going for a ride, as well as for the volunteers riding the bikes.
Moove and Groove is an innovative form of dance, music and physical therapy that uses silent disco technology, which is immersive and mobile, to provide mental and physical health benefits to participants. The program has been running for 2 years in several locations and was trialled with dementia patients in 2017, with very positive results. The project will now:
- develop a train-the-trainer program
- expand the program to 5 regional locations in NSW
- set up and build the long-term infrastructure required for the program
- develop clear measurement and credibility of the program.
Dunedoo Area Community Group
'Grow Well, Live Well Dunedoo' builds links between young people, seniors and the broader community. It will initiate a program to engage seniors, and link with schools and community groups within a mutual learning framework that centres around growing food, collecting seeds and sharing stories. The program will work with diverse local community groups and organisations, including the Dunedoo Education Sector, Three Rivers Regional Retirement Community (TRRRC), Dunedoo Landcare, Warrumbungle Community Care, Woodland Learning Centre, and Made 'n Grown Farmers Market. This program will initiate the social integration component of the Environmental Learning Centre housed at the TRRRC.
The 'Ask Gran Not Google' project is an intergenerational campaign, aimed to coincide with NSW Seniors Festival 2019. It is a coordinated program working with selected schools (primary, secondary, public, private), where children will be given the opportunity to engage with seniors and tap into their wealth of knowledge by asking Gran not Google.
Holdsworth Community is undertaking a project to establish a robust business model for a sustainable Homeshare program in key urban areas in NSW. Homeshare is an international concept that addresses a demand for affordable housing close to services by matching older people living alone in a home with a spare room with people who need to access low cost accommodation, such as students, key workers or older women at risk of homelessness. This project will explore and scope the Homeshare model as a housing solution for older women who are at risk of homelessness.
Justice Connect has partnered with St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney (SVHN) in a Health Justice Partnership (HJP) to better reach vulnerable people experiencing elder abuse. The HJP model integrates a lawyer into a health service, enabling the delivery of legal assistance to older patients experiencing abuse who would otherwise likely not see a lawyer. Our lawyer is already on site at St Joseph’s Hospital, a hospital of SVHN. In 2018, we will expand the project to 2 additional sites, increasing the number of older patients able to access legal help, and developing our learnings about the HJP model in different health settings.
Lithgow City Council
Lithgow City Council will pilot an intergenerational playgroup at Portland Tabulam Health Centre, an aged care facility in Lithgow. A playgroup facilitator from Communities & Kids will work with Tabulam staff to run a weekly playgroup. The sessions will be highly interactive, and children and their families will be encouraged to interact directly with residents, share common interests and experience the joy of playing and learning together. The project is designed to bridge social barriers between children and older people living in residential aged care, and to increase the dignity, happiness, self-esteem and community participation of the older people who participate.
Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation
Maari Ma is seeking to engage Aboriginal people who are hard to access, about their health – particularly in relation to smoking and chronic diseases – by providing regular socially inclusive activities. These activities involve art and craft that will engage people and provide an opportunity for health staff to build relationships and have less formal discussions about health in a non-clinical environment. We will work with the regional art gallery to provide workshops involving painting, basket weaving, clay and other media, and the local men's shed to provide materials that will be a drawcard to older men who are keen to work with their hands. This approach has been extremely successful with our playgroup families. By having clinicians participate side-by-side with families in playgroup, developing relationships in the sandpit or through blowing bubbles, we have been able to encourage families to attend clinic appointments for themselves and their children! We are hoping to reproduce this effect with art and craft activities for our older hard-to-access Aboriginal clients.
The 'Art and Object Engagement' project combines contemporary art and social history objects to successfully engage with people living with dementia. We will offer sessions at Macquarie University Art Gallery to people with dementia living at home and their carers; a chance for participants with dementia, and their carers, to socialise and communicate while discussing the art and objects as a group over morning or afternoon tea. We will provide support and training for carers to take this approach and use it elsewhere post-session, with training sessions, website resources and take-away materials, including a discovery guide identifying accessible and appropriate spaces/venues in the local community.
This project will deliver innovative resilience training for older Australians (50+ years). Fifty years of age reflects a point of major work and life transition (National Seniors Australia) and we seek to assist adjustment at this critical life-stage. Unlike conventional resilience training that takes a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, we have developed a personalised self-reflection strategy to build resilience. This strategy enables participants to identify and build on their individual strengths, and to harness these in the face of challenges. Leveraging our success in fostering resilience in the Australian military, we will tailor our unique approach for older Australians.
Milk Crate Theatre
Milk Crate Theatre uses performing arts to change the story of homelessness, build confidence, develop skills and enhance social connections. Our programs are run for and with adults and older persons who have lived experiences of homelessness, disability, and mental health support needs. Pathways is a focused skills-development program for participants who have worked with us for many years wishing to pursue another level of challenge, but would otherwise face age-related barriers to professional development in the arts. Five participants are teamed with practising professional artist mentors to make their own new performance works for the first time.
Northside Community Forum
The Friendship Space is an easy to access dedicated space within a shopping centre. It is ideal for isolated older people to connect with their local community members over a morning tea. Friendship Space volunteers will engage with older people in storytelling topics of interest through participation in creative activities over a period of six months. The Friendship Space will also facilitate health and wellness information sessions every week. It provides support with referrals and services, helping older people to live the life they choose.
Orange City Council
The 'Spark a Connection' program aims to provide creative opportunities for people with dementia living in the community, while simultaneously providing respite and education for their carers. Spark a Connection will engage and train volunteers to assist with a series of creative art workshops for people with dementia, culminating in an art exhibition. Dementia-specific training will be conducted for volunteers who will support the art educator, and provide ongoing art activities for people with dementia following the completion of the Spark a Connection program.
Sutherland Shire Council
The Sutherland Shire Loneliness Project aims to connect lonely and socially isolated older people with regular social connections. Council will work with community partners to combat loneliness through participation in a befriending program, social groups and community services, events, and activities. The Befriending Program will utilise volunteers to regularly visit and call people who are lonely, providing genuine and lasting support and friendship. Community partners will establish several small social groups that will be supported to become self-sustainable. The project will create a seniors community provided with ongoing opportunities to access services, events and activities, encouraging engagement and improving wellbeing.
The University Of Wollongong
Availability of public seating (e.g. public transport, shopping centres, parks) is considered in planning older adult friendly communities; however, design features such as seat height, which is critical for reducing mobility task demands, are often ignored. This project is a multi-stage investigation of older adults' (>65 years) use, satisfaction and comfort with public seating, and how this seating may affect their independence. An audit tool will be developed and piloted with key stakeholders to assess whether public seating facilitates or hampers mobility, and to help with identifying solutions to improve seating.
University of Sydney
Liveable communities for older people begin with liveable homes. Many older people experience falls in their homes and environs, and these are a major threat to their health and wellbeing. The HOME Falls and Accidents Screening Tool (HOMEFAST) is a valid and reliable tool for predicting falls risks in the home. This project will develop an online version of both the health professional and self-report versions of the HOMEFAST. This is an opportunity to make a preventative home safety assessment available (with tailored solutions) to large numbers of older people to reduce their risk of falls.
University of Technology Sydney
Cohousing is a well-established international housing model that involves residents in building design and governance, and includes a mix of shared and private living spaces. It has demonstrated benefits for older people by providing social connection and community, facilitating shared care, and offering affordable housing choices. This action research project will work to bring cohousing from the fringes to the mainstream. We will provide research support to leading cohousing proponents in NSW to help overcome remaining regulatory, financial and cultural barriers. We will document outcomes and case studies in a web platform so others can replicate successful cohousing projects.
Western Sydney University
The Making Music Project develops an electronic musical machine, increasing accessibility for persons in aged care, with the social benefits of creating music together to sustain health/wellbeing. Music making is limited in aged care due to the complex nature, cost and availability of traditional musical instruments, and older adults' efficacy (especially those with no musical experience). Residents, families and our project partner (aged care service provider) will develop musical controllers, allowing play with familiar songs. Primary outcomes are to enable music making in group settings, particularly among non-musical residents, and examine the technology's social impact on residents/families/staff and the benefits to general health/wellbeing.