The Speak My Language program is an initiative funded by the Commonwealth Government under the Dementia and Aged Care Services Fund Research and Innovation Grants 2017. It is proudly supported by ECCNSW and its primary partners ECCV, ECCQ (Diversicare) and our national broadcasting partners SBS and NEMBC.

© 2017 Speak My Language

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NSW Seniors Festival Expo 2018

The Speak My Language team were grateful to share a stall with Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit at the NSW Seniors Festival Expo this year. The event was held in Sydney, at the beautiful International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.

We wanted to capture what "ageing well" meant to seniors, especially those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and we wanted to have some fun while doing it!

 

Together, with the help of Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit, we set up a pop-up photo booth at the expo. Over the course of the day we had a chance to meet with hundreds of seniors from across NSW who were excited to have a chat – and have their photos snapped!

In just six hours we collected a whopping total of 516 responses from seniors who attended the booth, and answered the simple but important question:


"What does 'ageing well' mean to you?"

 

From our responses, 61 per cent stated that "ageing well" meant having a social connection and wellbeing; having good friends and a safe environment in which they could be treated with respect and dignity. For many people, staying connected to their communities by talking to others is an important part of living well as they age.

Another 46 per cent of responses showed that "ageing well" meant staying active and independentOver 40 per cent of the seniors emphasised that being fit and exercising regularly were important to what they thought a "good life" should look like. What was interesting was that many participants identified active sport and challenging physical activities such as swimming, tennis or dancing were important to keep that competitive drive. 

But being active is not only physical – it's also social and emotional. Many of our participants lit up with smiles on their faces when they talked about their close friends and social connections as being an important part of their lives. Many people we spoke to reminded us that laughing often and smiling everyday was an important part of ageing well. 

Having an active and fun lifestyle, including travelling, was what "ageing well" meant for 36 per cent of our participants and over 29 per cent expressed the importance of spending quality time with family, particularly grandchildren. 

Over 22 per cent of the responses reflected that "ageing well" meant paying attention to nutrition. Eating healthily and enjoying food were popular answers, as well as clean living. What became clear was that it's those little choices we make everyday, like deciding what to eat or when to eat, that has a great effect on our overall wellbeing. 

We are humbled to have had the opportunity to cross paths with so many delightful people on this very successful day; their voices and stories brought a spring to our step! 

For a full album of all the photos we took on the day visit our Facebook page by clicking here