Research data indicates that while older adults value the importance of physical activity, they have the lowest exercise rates of all Canadians. Physical activity plays an important role in improving well-being and preventing illness and dependence.
Let’s Get Moving responds to the Age-Friendly Hamilton Plan recommendations, as well as current research findings to enhance social participation and further promote physical activity to help older adults maintain health, reduce the risk of falls, and enhance overall health and well-being.
Hamilton has a unique infrastructure that it is in a position to promote active transportation as a form of getting around and also to increase physical activity. In 2017, the Hamilton Council on Aging developed Let’s Get Moving to align existing initiatives Let’s Take the Bus and Let’s Take a Walk ( https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/afp/age-friendly-outdoor-trails/), additionally incorporating a cycling component as part of a combined Let’s Get Moving workshop series.
Let’s Get Moving consisted of a series of 3 workshops for older adults, each with an educational and experiential component. There are three parts to the workshop series: Let’s Take the Bus, Let’s Take a Walk, and Let’s Ride a Bike. All workshops are facilitated by a senior volunteer “coach”. From 2017-2019, 29 Let’s Get Moving Workshops were attended by 704 older adults in Hamilton.
Resource: Let’s Get Moving: An Age Friendly Guide to 18 of Hamilton’s Outdoor Recreational Trails is a primary resource developed for the program. It was adapted from our original 2013 Let’s Take a Walk Trail Guide, and includes information about Hamilton’s outdoor trail systems, bus stop information, and locations of Hamilton’s Social Bicycles (SOBI).
Engaging the wider community
- Project lead: Hamilton Council on Aging
- Older people’s involvement: Let’s Get Moving is a project of the Hamilton Council on Aging in collaboration with the City of Hamilton (Public Health, Recreation), Seniors Advisory Committee, Retired Teachers of Ontario (Chapter 13), Hamilton Street Railway, Hamilton Conservation Authority, the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, McMaster University Rehabilitation Sciences, New Hope Community Bikes and Hamilton SOBI Hamilton. The project was generously funded by the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Fund. Older adults were involved in the age-friendly practice at all stages.
- Details on older people’s involvement: Older adults were involved in all aspects of Let’s Get Moving, through involvement on the planning committee, volunteering as workshop coaches and participation in all workshops.
- Has the impact of this age-friendly practice been analyzed: Yes
- Please share with us what you found in detail:
- 87% of individuals (survey respondents) who attended Let’s Take a Walk workshops identified that the workshop “inspired them to consider walking more in the future” and 89% of survey respondents who attended a Let’s Take a Walk workshop identified that they planned “to take the walk along one of Hamilton’s outdoor trails in the future.”
- 91% of individuals (survey respondents) who attended Let’s Take the Bus workshops identified that the workshop “made them feel more confident about taking the bus in the future” and 87% of individuals (survey respondents) who attended Let’s Take the Bus workshops identified that they “planned to take the bus more often in the future.”
- All participants who attended Let’s Ride a Bike Workshops (survey respondents) indicated that the workshop made them “feel more confident about cycling in the future.”
- Feedback (Testimonials)
- LET’S TAKE A WALK WORKSHOPS
- Great presentation!
- Extremely useful & informative.
- Very interesting content.
- I attempt to walk daily and hope to do more now in the future (along Hamilton’s trails)!
- LET’S TAKE A BUS WORKSHOPS
- It was a wonderful experience. Thank you!
- I feel encouraged to try to ride the bus on my own.
- Ready to get a Presto Card. Many thanks!
- LET’S RIDE A BIKE WORKSHOPS
- Loved this workshop. It was just what I needed. I feel confident and ready to go. Thank you so much!
- Leaders were very positive and encouraging. Didn’t make us feel old and helpless.
- Never thought I would be able to ride a bike again. Amazing & proud
Let’s Get Moving will be primarily sustained through the resource developed for the project: “Let`s Take a Walk: An Age Friendly Guide to 18 of Hamilton`s Outdoor Recreational Trails. This guide has been distributed among older adults and our partners and is available on an ongoing basis, free of charge online.
Additionally, our Let’s Get Moving Senior Volunteer Coaches will be able to sustain the offering of project workshops in the future, including 6 Let’s Ride a Bike Coaches who received Canbike certification as part of their orientation.
Looking Back: Challenges/Ideas
- Let’s Get Moving workshops can be weather dependent.
- It is difficult to know if the program is reaching all of the people who might benefit (e.g. those who are not typically joiners). In an effort to offer our Let’s Take the Bus workshop to a new demographic that we didn’t see too much of in the broad based workshops we were running, we offered a targeted workshop in partnership with our local Alzheimer Society, focused around transportation options for persons living with dementia and their care partners. We found the offering of this workshop to be most rewarding and beneficial for participants and hope to offer similar workshops in the future.
Name: Kiely, Shelagh
Email address: email@example.com
Preferred language(s): English
Main target group: Older people in general
Sector(s): Social protection
Desired outcome for older people:
- Healthy behaviours (e.g. physical activity)
Name: Lisa Maychak
Email address: Lisa.Maychak@hamilton.ca