Our first Age Well mini-expo was very well received. It was wonderful to see community members drop in and make connections with the wide array of service providers throughout the Huon Valley. The expo was an initiative of our Age Well program, supported by the Department of Social Services, Independent Living Assessment and Huon Valley Council.
Age Well is a positive ageing program that connects older people in the Huon Valley with local groups and activities. The program aims to alleviate social isolation and loneliness experienced by older residents in the valley through increasing connection opportunities.
In Australia, social isolation is recognised as a significant public health and wellbeing issue. According to a growing body of research, loneliness can be harmful to both mental and physical health. Social isolation and loneliness are prevalent issues throughout the Huon Valley due to a whole range of reasons such as rising cost of living pressures, chronic health conditions, literacy challenges (including health and digital literacy), and housing insecurity. This combined with the population being spread over a large geographical and rural area, migration of new populations, and an aging population (over 37% over 55) is resulting in older people being unaware of existing programs and activities. The Age Well program is the result of a targeted government and community support program to address this issue locally.
We know that connecting with others and getting involved in local activities can help overcome loneliness and promote wellbeing. That is why the Age Well program brings older people living in the Huon Valley together to support good mental and physical health. Through our dedicated Age Well Link Worker, individuals and groups can develop networks with each other that will increasing the opportunity to link in with more isolated older people, increase inclusion in programs and activities, reduce isolation and loneliness and help to build resilience.
The Age Well program is funded by the Australian Government, Department of Social Services (DSS), through the Village Hubs Grants Fund. Twelve communities across Australia have been awarded funding to establish a new village hub. The Age Well program is the first funded village hub program in Tasmania. It is managed by Huon Valley Council and works closely with local partners who offer social activities for older people.
Whether you’re in Grove or in Lune River, an Age Well Link Worker will meet you to understand your interests and needs. Family, friends and service providers are encouraged to refer people to the program.
If you’d like to know more, please call us on (03) 6264 0300 or email email@example.com or visit us at the Huon Valley Hub, 23 Main Street, Huonville.