As we approach the Great Debate on 'does sport unite or divide us?', I reflect on the many benefits sport has on our community, specifically our aging community. I am firmly on team 'unites' as I see how sport supports ageing and contributes to greater social connection and participation later in life.
At Synergy Group, we are passionate advocates for aged care, having delivered a range of programs focused on improving wellness and wellbeing for older Australians. Over the course of my career, I've become a big promoter of active ageing; the process of optimising opportunities for health and participation in order to enhance quality of life as people age. I have seen firsthand the benefits continued physical activity has on helping older people maintain a level of independence and connection with community.
Australia is an ageing society. We are living longer, have more complex care needs and want to remain living in our homes, rather than move into residential aged care. This combination of factors is putting strain on our already strained aged care system and is also challenging our traditional care models and how we support our ageing community.
We have all heard the phrase 'use it or lose it' and it's no different when applied to the concept of ageing. It is widely accepted that around 25% of how we age is genetic, and around 75% is about the lifestyle choices we make. Investing in continued physical activity commensurate with our capability and capacity, not only positively impacts our physical and mental wellbeing, but also keep us living independently for longer.
Active ageing as a concept required commitment from the individual as well as wrap around support from government, business and community alike. Creative opportunities for older people to participate in programs that promote physical activity is one element, personal ownership and commitment is another.
Our Health and Social Services team focuses on health from birth to end of life, with a focus on investment in health and wellbeing to fundamentally improve how we experience ageing and live a fulfilling life, for our whole life. Of course, sport and physical activity play a significant role in living a healthy and happy life, not just the physical benefits but the social support networks and the meaning of purpose it creates.
Through our work we design behavioural change programs that challenge the stigma of ageing, changing the way we view and approach getting older. This also includes targeted communication and awareness campaigns aimed at educating the community on aged care policy and how to remain engaged in their ageing journey. If you need help with similar initiatives, please reach out.
Synergy Group is proudly supporting the Great Debate on sport for Social Sciences Week on 5 September at the National Library of Australia. Get your tickets here: https://socialsciencesweek.org.au/event/the-great-debate-does-sport-unite-or-divide-us/