It turns out, the key to ageing well is a bit of sunshine, some time spent outside, and a desire to make a difference. The University of South Australia is conducting research with over-50-year-olds to see if participation in citizen science projects will provide both social and physical benefits.
South Australia has a ‘Plan for Ageing Well 2020-2025’ which will see people over the age of 50 get involved in a long-term project that will help with:
- – People building resilience and resources to live well through the many stages of ageing;
- – People leading the development and implementation of diverse options for living a good life in their later years;
- – Communities self-organising to shape good living in our later years alongside older people;
- – Spreading a view of ageing that is diverse, busts myths and enables planning for transitions in ageing;
- – Building resilience in individuals and communities for good living in our later years.
This includes activities like weekly guided walks with environmental researchers in local parks and walking trails across metropolitan Adelaide, where participants will have the chance to photograph and record the surrounding wildlife. Through these activities, the aim is for participants to be able to identify ways to tackle ageism and for people to grow and sustain meaningful connections as they grow older.
“For all of us to live well, we must work towards a future where everyone has the opportunity, support, and encouragement to maintain and develop meaningful connections,” Lead researcher, UniSA’s Professor Craig Williams.
One thing is for sure, the population of South Australia is willing to participate in such a project, however, it is still unknown “how environmental citizen science projects can benefit people’s physical health or overall wellbeing. This is the focus of our current study,” Professor Williams continues.
The project itself is community-based, run by unofficial scientists who are simply willing to contribute to their community and for their own health.
The team in charge is currently accepting people to take part in their next series of citizen science projects. To get involved, contact [email protected], call 8302 1365 or visit: Activating Citizen Science website or the Facebook page.