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Dorset Active Ageing Project

The Active Ageing project aims to support sustained physical activity behaviour amongst the 55-65 Dorset population –targeting those who are inactive. The project sets out to provide individuals with the skills and advice that will help them to feel more confident in being regularly physically active, embedding this behaviour into their everyday lives and improving the health of the ageing population of Dorset in the future.

Active Ageing aims to do this by:

  • Creating an identification system where physical activity promotion will be integrated into existing care pathways to target individuals aged 55-65. Pathways where integration will be embedded will vary.

The four intended gatekeepers are:

Ensuring continual behaviour change within this population by:

  1. Embedding the project (identification followed by advice) within care pathways
  2. Identifying, utilising and developing physical activity and behaviour change Champions and Leaders to influence and train those around them; an initial step in creating a culture of physical activity in the Dorset population.
  3. Providing, for individuals needing further support, a contact centre with dedicated behaviour change experts offering advice, information on local activity opportunities and follow up support will be available to individuals.
  4. Group behavioural change interventions.

The project's overall objective is to influence twenty thousand 55-65 year olds to adopt a sustained physically active lifestyle – particularly those who do little or no activity at all - through understanding which, and to what extent, interventions can be made to systemise the advocacy of physical activity in existing organisations across the county. The project will focus on opportunities to influence behaviour change at key points when the audience is most likely to engage: when receiving advice from a healthcare professional (acute and primary care), workers approaching retirement and parents/grandparents of school children.

Ensuring this group initiates and maintains an active lifestyle will increase the overall health and well-being of the population of Dorset. Moreover, the increase in physical activity in this group is likely to prevent new incidences of illness and disease that are more likely to occur parallel to increases in age.

Additionally, a contact centre offering behaviour change advice and long-term follow-up will monitor change in physical activity behaviour of these individuals. Physical activity Champions and Leaders will be trained, who are likely to influence the behaviour of others but also are an important resource in enabling and training healthcare professionals to feel more confident in discussing physical activity with their patients. By utilising existing work streams and embedding this programme into professional and healthcare sectors, the project should identify and engage the desired population without increasing workload, with a long-term outcome of reducing the incidence and prevalence of disease associated with ageing.

Enquiries

For any enquiries relating to the Active Ageing project, please contact Charlie Coward:

e: ccoward@activedorset.org
t: 07740 521 208