As a member of the World Health Organisation’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities Network, Banyule City Council looks to create opportunities for older adults to remain actively engaged in their communities in a range of different ways.
Local government is a key agency in building age friendly communities, where both physical and social environments can be addressed. Banyule City Council is continuously looking at ways to increase age friendliness throughout the municipality, to enable older people to live their best lives for as long as possible.
Ivanhoe Seniors Exercise Park located in the heart of Banyule City Council, has been designed for older people to help improve; balance, strength, functional movement, joint range of motion and mobility. The Seniors Exercise Park features specialised outdoor equipment with safe platforms and handrails, suitable safe surfaces, instructional signage with simple information and illustrations, resting benches, and an age friendly mobile app. Each design aspect was considered carefully to ensure maximum usage and to encourage seniors to engage in new, positive movements.
In June 2020, Banyule City Council partnered with the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) to work collaboratively to increase knowledge, skills and awareness about the health benefits of outdoor physical activity and the usage of the Seniors Exercise Park. Community members have been engaged to train and serve as ambassadors to inspire others to participate in physical activity, which has provided a wonderful avenue for socialisation, intergenerational activities and community engagement.
Since the launch of the Seniors Exercise Park, regular ‘Come & Try’ sessions have been available for everyone to learn how to use the equipment with trained staff. The program has brought residents together, rekindled old friendships, and created new connections. This state-of-the-art equipment not only brings together the community in an organic and meaningful way, allied health professionals and exercise instructors have also developed exercise programs using the equipment.
Ivanhoe Seniors Exercise Park provides a safe and welcoming active outdoor space for older people and is a great example of an Age Friendly environment.
For more information visit banyule.vic.gov.au