Active ageing

Staying active, healthy and engaged in the community

Developing solutions to improve the physical, social and mental wellbeing of older people living at home. Our research spans aged care treatment, policy improvement, education for health professionals, and rehabilitation programs in the community. 

Our vision is for Australia's ageing population to have access to evidence-based sustainable health and aged care that supports them to live at home with dignity and as much independence as possible. 

We study with experts in various fields to answer fundamental questions about ageing – how can we ensure our ageing population can feel safe, healthy and independent while living at home? How can we ensure active ageing through community engagement and a sense of purpose and meaningful activities?

Our Active Ageing projects include four initial thematic areas: 

  • multidisciplinary restorative, reablement and wellness programs
  • intervention for high-risk groups
  • technology in aged care and eHealth to improve independence, communication, mobility and gait
  • improvement in aged-care policies to reframe ageing and reducing stigma against aged-related diseases such as dementia. 

The Active Ageing project node will research and translate into practice ways of supporting older people to live well. This will include programs that provide physical, psychological and rehabilitative treatments directly with older people, train health and aged care professionals who work with older people, and improve the health and aged care systems. 

Implementation and Translation Symposium

  • Attended by 52 University-wide researchers. Eight research teams benefited from private consultations with keynote speakers Dr Benjamin Gardner from Kings College London (leading authority on habit change theory) and A/Prof Dominika Kwasnicka (recognised international leader on maintenance of behaviour change) from Curtin University. Both are now collaborators on NHMRC grant applications (one successful NHMRC project grant (Falls after Stroke Trial, $18m), one investigator grant submitted)

Policy influence

  • Policy lab events led by Prof Marc Steers. Policy Lab Strategy intensive Workshop with smaller group of active node researchers was followed up with a full day event for the network members. Because of the policy lab workshop we’ve more actively been working to influence policy, for example meeting with Department of Health in Canberra and ongoing email communication on models of service delivery for assessment and care for dementia in Australia. A workshop was followed up on values, dementia and aged care involving key stakeholders in the Royal Commission on Aged Care, Department of Health, consumers and aged care providers with the express purpose of influencing the Royal Commission design of the aged care system.

Reframing Ageing program of research

  • Low, Clemson, Hausknecht (post doc), &  McNab started a program of research to develop Reframing Ageing strategies to address ageism in health. We conducted a Reframing Ageing workshop for network members. The research team have recently completed a project through funding with the Benevolent Society. This has been a social change movement,  teaching others to identify ageist attitudes, values and language, and changing the frame's we using in our ageist society. Through our network meeting we challenged researchers in ageing how they frame their research and can change the impact. 

Project Node Co-Leader

Professor Murieann Irish
Professor Murieann Irish
View Murieann Irish's profile

Project Node Co-Leader

Professor Lynette Mackenzie
Professor Lynette Mackenzie
View Lynette Mackenzie's profile

Project Node Co-Leader