The EU recognized health-enhancing physical activity for older adults as one of the key policies of Erasmus+ and of the Silver Economy Strategy. The messaging of the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles in later life was widespread, but it did not translate into action itself. Insufficient older adults exercised to the WHO recommendations for longer active and independent living. Older people also became socially excluded and more isolated.
The AAC main objective was to create communities for healthy and active older people in 18 fitness centers from 6 European countries and in different community settings. In detail, the AAC aimed to involve ~500 older adults and to have an adherence of 75% at the end of the proposed six months intervention. Family members who were already fitness users encouraged their parents and grandparents to join community-based activities leading into a framework of healthy lifestyles for their long-term participation.
The European fitness sector was one of the key actors capable of raising awareness among inactive older people and was already recognized as the largest participation sport at the European level. A majority of its 64,000 fitness clubs were community-based.
The AAC program was set up by the University of Southern Denmark experts and addressed behavioral, mental, and socioeconomic barriers to physical activity in later life by proposing a mix of methodologies from already successful projects together with the new piloting based on an innovative intergenerational approach.
There was a good practice guide (based on the program impact evaluation) that could be used by other fitness and recreational sport centers around Europe to replicate the methodology. Two types of dissemination events were organized to exploit the findings with a main conference in Brussels and national seminars involving fitness and recreational sporting bodies in the 6 participating countries.
Active Ageing Communities Testimonial
Active Ageing Communities- Retrospective
Start with the customer – find out what they want and give it to them.