Our 2-year Erasmus+ funded Active Ageing Communities Project officially ended in December 2022. Its main objective was to create communities for healthier and more active older people in 6 European countries, and in different community settings, in a way that could be easily replicated across many other recreational sport settings.
Older adults’ key health indicators including the physical function, gait speed, chair rise, balance and body composition, as well as daily physical activity and sedentary behaviour, were significantly improved by the project, which also contributed to reduce loneliness and isolation, and increase social connectiveness. The interventions have indeed proven successful in appealing and motivating the target group, achieving impressive results such as a very high retention rate of 91% and a very good evaluation rating by the participants (4,76 out of 5).
All this expertise is summarised in the AAC Evaluation Report (Intellectual Output 3), which contains all the methodology and outcomes of the programme. This report offers the fitness and physical activity sector the opportunity to significantly improve its knowledge and competences on how to develop and run training programmes for older adults, with the right approach to attract and maintain such a target group in the clubs through a community-based approach.
Based on the Report, an AAC Good Practice Guide (IO4) has been developed, targeting fitness clubs and instructors. The Guide contains a simplified version of all the necessary steps to be followed by the fitness instructors in order to successfully implement a full-fledged programme which better addresses older adults’ necessities and preferences, and that can therefore result in retaining older adults in exercising and being long-term members in the club.
Additionally, an Executive Summary of the Report has been produced, which, together with the Good Practice Guide, have been translated into French, German and Spanish. All these project resources are now available on our webpage: https://www.europeactive.eu/projects/active-ageing-communities