VICTORIAN ACTIVE AGEING PARTNERSHIP


MSK, in collaboration with Fitness Australia and Monash University, is coordinating the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP) on behalf of the Victorian Government.


Discover the benefitsGet involvedSubscribe to eNewsBest practice frameworkVAAP self-assessment tool and resourcesEngaging under-represented groups in physical activity  | Research and Practice Forum 2018 | Research and Practice Forum 2017Research and Practice Forum 2016Meet the VAAP teamMeet the advisory groupVAAP audit and gap analysisTransition pathways  | Contact the VAAP Team

The VAAP is a three year project that began in October 2015. It aims to increase opportunities for participation in physical activity for older Victorians, especially in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and among isolated, lonely older people not currently involved in physical activity. Find out more about the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership and how you can become involved.

Discover the benefits for your organisation

Becoming involved in the VAAP has many benefits including:

  • access to an evidence-based best practice framework to engage older people in physical activity
  • increasing awareness of current initiatives and activities as well as relevant resources and strategies
  • developing and improving knowledge of assisted/referral pathways to support the involvement of older people in physical activity, especially those not currently participating.

Take action and get involved today

It’s easy for you and your organisation to get involved.

All you need to do is:

  • subscribe to VAAP eNews and stay informed of key VAAP initiatives and the latest research and developments relating to physical activity and older people. Subscribe here.
  • write about it in your organisation’s newsletter, share on your social media platforms, encourage people to sign up to VAAP eNews
  • Contribute to VAAP eNews. Click here for eNews guidelines.
  • Attend the annual VAAP Research and Practice Forum. To view the presentations from this year’s Forum, click here

Subscribe to VAAP eNews

Subscribe to our eNewsletter and:

  • stay up-to-date with the activities and progress of the VAAP
  • be informed of news and updates from the broader field of physical activity for older people
  • read about good practice examples
  • be linked to other organisations, groups and clubs that provide physical activity opportunities for older Victorians.

Read past editions:

To subscribe, click here.

VAAP evidence-based best practice framework

To understand the characteristics and features of organisations and the workforce that are enablers and barriers to older people engaging in physical activity, an evidence synthesis was conducted. It is providing the basis for the development of an evidence-based best practice framework for community-based organisations to guide the engagement of older people in group-based physical activity. Assoc Prof Ben Smith, Project Advisor representing Monash University on the VAAP Coordination Team, has led this initiative.

In order to further refine the draft framework, a structured validation process was undertaken with organisations and group leaders in Victoria.

To find out more read the:

VAAP self-assessment tool and resources

The development of a VAAP self-assessment tool and resources (SaTR) follows on from the formulation of the evidence-based best practice framework for engaging older people in physical activity.

The SaTR has been designed to assist you review and reflect on your current programs and activities, to think about what you are currently doing and if it might need to be improved. The SaTR takes a continuous quality improvement approach and is intended as a ‘value-adding’ tool.

You can also use the SaTR as a guide if you are establishing physical activity programs for older people for the first time, or establishing new programs. The SaTR also offers ideas and resources to assist in further improving your physical activity services for older people.

Different versions of the SaTR have been created for use by fitness/leisure centres, local councils, community health centres, state sporting associations, U3As and neighbourhood houses/community centres. A version has also been specifically designed for use by YMCA fitness/leisure centres.

To find more about the SaTR and how it works, it is important that you view this short video. Duration: 6:39

Become a registered user of the VAAP SaTR

As a way of tracking the use of the SaTR, we are asking services and organisations to become ‘registered users’ of the SaTR. This involves the following:

  1. Providing the following details to the VAAP Coordination Team:
    • Organisational name
    • Names and contact details for two contact people
    • Type of organisation (e.g. community health service)
    • Local government area (LGA)
  2. Having just your organisational name, type of organisation and LGA listed on the VAAP webpage in the list of registered users (no names of contact people will be listed)
  3. Letting the VAAP Coordination Team know if you experience any technical glitches with the SaTR
  4. Letting the VAAP Coordination Team know of any feedback about using the tool and occasionally responding to requests for feedback.

Click here to see the list of organisations that have already become registered users of the SaTR.

Become a registered user of the SaTR now by sending the required details to the VAAP Coordination Team via email. When a service or organisation becomes a registered user of the SaTR, the contact people will be sent the tool.

If you have any queries about the SaTR, please contact the VAAP Coordination Team.

Engaging under-represented groups of older adults in physical activity

A qualitative study was undertaken within the VAAP to gather evidence to improve the design of physical activity programs, and the capacity of activity providers, to increase participation by under-represented and vulnerable older people. Within this group of older people are those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, living with a disability, culturally and linguistically diverse, or living alone. These groups were identified as being at elevated risk of isolation and loneliness in the Commissioner for Senior Victorians’ 2016 report, Ageing is Everyone’s Business. The Commissioner’s report highlighted the effects of social networks, physical functioning and mobility upon isolation. Community-based physical activity programs have a valuable role to play in addressing these factors.

The qualitative study resulted in the identification of many useful strategies for service providers to employ in better engaging under-represented groups of older adults in physical activity.

Find out more about the study and the identified strategies.

Professional development resource

A series of short films, which outlines various strategies to engage under-represented groups of older adults in physical activity, has been developed. These films are designed as a professional development resource for staff and volunteers working with older people. In line with the areas covered within the corresponding VAAP study, the three films focus on:

Click on the above links to view each of the films now.

How to view the films and earn professional development points

Approval is currently being sought from Fitness Australia for 1 continuing education credit and from Physical Activity Australia for 1 professional development point to encourage qualified fitness professionals to view the films and complete other associated tasks.

This professional development opportunity is provided free of charge. To register for this professional development opportunity, please send via email, the following information:

Title:
First name:
Surname:
Workplace:
Contact email:
Contact phone number:
Professional association: Fitness Australia OR Physical Activity Australia

More information will then be provided.

VAAP Research and Practice Forum 2018 – ‘Working well together: Promoting active ageing’

Date and time:
Thursday 23 August 2018, 9.30am–3.15pm

Target audience:
Service providers, managers and policy makers involved in the current or potential provision of physical activity opportunities (including active recreation and sport) for older people. Staff and volunteers from a range of settings and organisations are encouraged to attend.

Venue:
Rydges Melbourne, 186 Exhibition St, Melbourne.

Cost:
$100 deposit to be paid on registration ($70 refunded on attendance). Click here for registration payment terms and conditions.

Program:
Download a copy of the program today.

The purpose of the Forum will be to improve the knowledge and capacity of relevant service providers to successfully engage older people in physical activity opportunities. The Forum will include presentations from academic speakers, as well as service providers with case studies and practice examples.

In 2018, the objectives of the Forum will be to provide attendees with:

  • an increased awareness of strategies to promote partnership and co-design approaches to engaging older people in physical activity
  • an increased knowledge and awareness of some strategies and tools to assist them in their engagement of older people in physical activity
  • an increased knowledge and awareness of approaches used to engage specific groups of older people
  • an opportunity to meet other service providers involved/interested in the provision of physical activity opportunities for older people Professional development accreditation points from some relevant professional associations will be available for attendance at the Forum.

If you have any queries regarding the Forum, please email helenk@msk.org.au or phone 03 8531 8045.

Forum attendee organisational profiles

All attendees at the VAAP 2018 Research and Practice Forum were asked to submit an organisational profile as a way of sharing information and promoting networking. Over 60 organisations submitted profiles, which have been combined into a booklet. Download a copy of the booklet now.

VAAP Research and Practice Forum 2017

The second VAAP Research and Practice Forum – Access for all: More older people, more active – was held on Thursday 24 August 2017.

The Forum was opened by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians and Ambassador for Elder Abuse Prevention, Mr Gerard Mansour, and was again attended by over 200 people from over 100 Victorian organisations.

Recordings of the principal presentations are available:

Opening address – Gerard Mansour

Equity, older people and physical activity – Professor Kylie Ball
Associate Head of School – Research, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University

Strategies for ‘hard to reach’ older people – Assoc Prof Ben Smith
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Physical activity: An older person’s perspective – Edith Chen
Peer Educator, COTA Victoria

VAAP self-assessment tool and resources – Genevieve Nolan
Manager, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership; Programs Manager, MOVE muscle, bone & joint health

The RecLink model – Chris Lacey
Victorian State Manager, RecLink Australia

The Powerpoint presentations from the afternoon sessions at the Forum, which detail various practice examples and address key issues are also available for viewing:

Transition pathways at Sunbury Community Health: A case example – Adam DeMirtel
Team Leader-Active Ageing Team/Exercise Physiologist, Health & Wellbeing Unit, Sunbury Community Health

From healthcare to community: Supporting clients to continue their exercise journey – Heath Miller
Physiotherapist Practice Lead, cohealth

Transition pathways: Key elements to promote sustainability – Genevieve Nolan
Manager, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership; Programs Manager, Musculoskeletal Australia
(formerly known as MOVE muscle, bone & joint health)

Walking football/City Strikers program – George Halkias
Walking Football Project Coordinator, Melbourne City Football Club

Walking basketball – Kyle MacMullan
Inclusion Officer, Basketball Victoria

Physical activity and older people with chronic health conditions – Carolyn Page
Senior Physiotherapist, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Ms Emma Dabb
Facilitator, Alzheimer’s Australia
(Please refer to the Alzheimer’s Australia website for further information)

CAFÉ BAZAAR – Moorleigh Multicultural Senior Citizens Centre Physical Activity Program for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Seniors – Christine Spiridonos
Manager Community-based Social Support Services, MiCare

VAAP Research and Practice Forum 2016

The inaugural VAAP Research and Practice Forum – Pathways to Participation: Engaging Older People in Physical Activity – was held on Thursday 25 August 2016.

The Forum was opened by the Commissioner for Senior Victorians, Mr Gerard Mansour, and was attended by over 200 people from over 100 Victorian organisations.

Recordings of the principal presentations are available:

Opening address – Gerard Mansour

Factors influencing an older person’s engagement in physical activity – Prof Cathie Sherrington
The George Institute for Global Health and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney

Evidence-based best practice framework for the engagement of older people in physical activity – Assoc Prof Ben Smith
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Behavioural change approaches and older people and physical activity – Dr Thorlene Egerton
Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, The University of Melbourne

The Powerpoint presentations from the afternoon sessions at the Forum, which detail various practice examples and address key issues are also available for viewing:

How to promote active ageing to older people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds: The HAT and HAQ initiative – Dr Liz Cyarto
National Ageing Research Institute and Ms Cecilia Hernandez, City of Melbourne

Physical activity opportunities for older Victorians: An audit and gap analysis – Renee de Silva
Health Promotion and Training Coordinator, MOVE muscle, bone & joint health; Coordinator, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership

Is sport a viable physical activity option for older adults? – Claire Jenkin
PhD Researcher, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, Victoria University

Active Maribyrnong – Rick Morris
Recreation Participation Officer, Maribyrnong City Council

‘Lung at Heart’: the transition of exercise rehab groups from hospital and community health settings to an independent gym setting – Mark Tran
Subacute Ambulatory Care Services, St Vincent’s Hospital

Active living in Warrnambool – Clare Vaughan
Healthy Ageing Program Project Officer, Warrnambool City Council

Meet the members of the VAAP Coordination Team

Genevieve Nolan
Manager, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership

Gen has worked at Musculoskeletal Australia since September 2011 in the role of Programs Manager, Consumers Services. Gen has principal responsibility for the coordination of MSK’s suite of training and education programs. Prior to MSK, Gen worked in various roles within the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. With her extensive experience in project and program management, Gen will have overall responsibility for the successful implementation and completion of the VAAP project.

Helen Koutsimanis
Project Officer, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership

Helen has worked at MSK since 2015 in the role of Project Officer – Health Promotion. Over this time, Helen has worked on various initiatives within the Victorian Active Ageing Partnership (VAAP), including the audit of physical activity opportunities for older adults and the analysis of data collected for other VAAP key projects. Helen will work closely with Gen in coordinating the VAAP and will play a major role in implementing many of the key strategies outlined in the project plan.

Assoc Prof Ben Smith
Project Advisor representing Monash University, Victorian Active Ageing Partnership

Ben is a Senior Lecturer, Health Science in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Ben has 20 years’ experience in physical activity research, evidence synthesis, program evaluation and training. Examples of his contributions to this field include being a member of the expert drafting panel for National Heart Foundation’s 2014 update of the ‘Blue Print for an Active Australia’, as a trainer for Monash University’s five-day Health Promotion Short Course 2008-2014 and as a previous Director of the NSW Centre for Physical Activity and Health, University of Sydney. Within the VAAP project, Ben will lead the development of the project’s monitoring and evaluation plan, undertake evidence syntheses, as well as a qualitative study regarding older people who are ‘hard to reach’ in relation to engagement in physical activity.

Chris Alexander
Manager of Standard & Development at Fitness Australia, the Health and Fitness Industry Association

Chris Alexander is the Manager of Standard & Development at Fitness Australia, the Health and Fitness Industry Association. He has over 15 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry. Chris worked across a number of health promotion projects including Lift for Life, strength training program and Get Healthy Information & Coaching Service. He’s worked at medical clinics and provided fitness education for many years delivering and managing a registered training organisation. Chris is also practicing Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Meet the VAAP Project Advisory Group

The VAAP Project Advisory Group (PAG) provides experience and sector-based knowledge and advice to assist with promoting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the VAAP.

For the Project Advisory Group’s Terms of Reference please click here.

The members of the PAG are as follows:

  • Jan Bruce, Positive Ageing Policy Adviser, Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Jonathan Pietsch, Special Projects – LLLS and Social Enterprises, COTA Victoria
  • Laura Cattapan, Coordinator Access & Inclusion, City of Port Phillip
  • Tom Dixon, Participation Strategy Manager, Vicsport
  • Gabrielle Lindsay Smith, PhD Student, Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University
  • Chris Lacey, Victorian State Manager, Reclink Australia
  • Elsie Mutton, Course Administrator and Vice-President of U3A Nunawading
  • Rayoni Nelson, Manager, Physical Activity, Sport & Healthy Eating, VicHealth
  • Gerald Dixon, Centre Manager, YMCA Victoria
  • Megan Clifford, Senior Project Officer – Active and Healthy Ageing, Department of Health and Human Services

The members of the VAAP Coordination Team are ex officio members of the VAAP PAG.

Physical activity for older Victorians: VAAP audit and gap analysis

An audit was undertaken by the VAAP Coordination Team in 2015-2016 to examine the availability, variety and accessibility of physical activity opportunities for older Victorians.

The aims of the data audit and gap analysis were:

  • To gain information in relation to the availability, variety and accessibility of physical activity opportunities for older Victorians
  • To identify the gaps in the availability, variety and accessibility of physical activity opportunities for older Victorians
  • To provide baseline information to guide the future work of the VAAP
  • To provide information that may be used to guide work by external organisations. The audit examined structured physical activity programs incorporating fitness, strength, balance and flexibility within each Victorian local government area.

To find out more read the:

Transition pathways – Key elements to maximise the sustainability of exercise

After a health event, which may affect their physical mobility and functioning, older people often undertake a structured and supported rehabilitation program to rebuild their mobility, physical functioning and self-confidence. At the end of these programs, it is important that they transition well to another community-based setting to continue their exercise and physical activity. Well functioning transition pathways will assist in maximising the older person’s continuation and sustained engagement in exercise.

A qualitative study was undertaken within the VAAP examining existing pathways governing the transition of older people from a formal, supervised program to independent, community-based exercise. The aim of the study was to determine the features and factors of these pathways, which act as enablers and barriers to the achievement of their desired outcomes.

Read the key elements of transition pathways, which have been identified as maximising the sustainability of exercise.

Contact the VAAP Coordination Team

To get in touch with the VAAP Coordination Team, please contact:

Helen Koutsimanis
helenk@msk.org.au
03 8531 8045 | 1800 263 265

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