IT might seem simple to most, but the single biggest issue people over the age of 65 face is loneliness.
Speaking at the Ageing Well Expo at the Orange Function Centre yesterday morning, Uniting Care Ageing community development manager Robyn Sharp believes social participation is important to help our older generations remain well.
“All of the research shows that’s one of the driving things that keeps people well,” Mrs Sharp said.
“Once people become isolated that’s when people develop things like depression and have nutritional problems and they don’t attend to their basic health needs. That’s one of the key things, social participation.
“Older people contribute so much to our community.”
People over the age of 65 represents 17 per cent of the Western Health District, an area that includes Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo’s populations.
That’s a number higher than the state average.
With the expo receiving backing from Orange City Council, Mrs Sharp said the main focus of the 50 stands on display was to improve people’s health while also encouraging engagement back into the community.
“We’ve tried to bring in services that provide care in-home but also programs that have wellness philosophies. It’s so people can get better and achieve things,” she said, with stands providing health checks as well as a variety of social platforms for those in attendance.
“We had a lady here who came to one of our exercise groups and she’s in her 90s, she had a fall and thought her days were long gone but she’s back in a dance class.
“For older people for Orange on the perimeter, it’s about how they can get that social connection because of transport links. There are transport services that are funded by the government that probably need to be strengthened.”