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VAAP - Self Assessment Tool and Resources

Organisations - U3A

                    Positive ageing

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Make sure that all promotional pictures/images of people are realistic, demonstrate diversity and are relevant to the local context (e.g. don’t have an image showing people of only white, Anglo-Celtic background in an area of ethnic and cultural diversity).

                    • Ensure that volunteers, who may be the first point of contact for people coming to the U3A, are welcoming and supportive (as the first contact is very important).

                    • Involve participants themselves in your volunteer training and induction re: working with older people. Some of the people in your U3A would be valuable in passing on useful advice from their own and others’ experiences.

                    • Seek regular informal and formal feedback from the people in your U3A to check that they feel valued, respected and welcomed by all volunteers.

                    • Inform volunteer leaders about other issues that may become apparent when dealing with class participants, e.g. elder abuse, financial hardship.

                    • When developing a policy, vision or organisational statement re: your U3A working positively with older people, here are some examples that could be adapted:

                    1. Warrnambool City Council Statement from Active Ageing Plan:

                    Vision - Council will value the role of older people and seek to provide opportunities for active participation in a broad range of community activities.

                    Action - Identify, recommend and promote opportunities for older residents to maximise their quality of life in the City of Warrnambool.

                    2. World Health Organisation: ‘Active Ageing’ A Policy Framework:

                    Positive ageing is the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.

                    Active ageing applies to both individuals and population groups. It allows people to realise their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society according to their needs, desires and capacities, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they require assistance.

                    Active ageing policies and programmes recognise the need to encourage and balance personal responsibility (self-care), age-friendly environments and inter-generational solidarity.

                    The adoption of healthy lifestyles and engaging in appropriate physical activity wisely in older age can prevent disease and functional decline, extend longevity and enhance one’s quality of life.

                    Resources:
                    • Videos to use for staff training and discussion:


                    A ‘fair go’ for all

                    Helpful tips:
                    • A written policy, vision or organisational statement should clearly define to which groups of people the statement applies, who in the U3A should manage such matters and how they should be managed.

                    • Inform volunteers about the strategies outlined in the VAAP ‘Engaging under-represented groups of older adults in organised physical activity’ document.

                    • All volunteers and leaders are aware of the agreed actions within their U3A to promote the inclusion of people experiencing social or financial disadvantage/hardship.

                    • heck the availability of any local council community buses to assist with transport.

                    • Other ways of reducing the cost of your activities might be:

                      • running a variety of physical activities, some of which have no or minimal costs (e.g. have a no-cost Heart Foundation walking group as one of your activities)

                      • asking local businesses to sponsor a number of people (without identifying individuals)

                      • offering discounts for concession card holders.

                    Resources:


                    Peer mentors and buddies

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Chat to some of your regular older participants and see if they would be willing to support and encourage new and less confident participants. If they are willing, discuss how this might best work and what might be some of the common concerns of older participants. Some older people might be more suited to the role of buddy or mentor than others .


                    Participant engagement

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Visit local organisations that work with older people and inform them about what your U3A offers.

                    • Invite staff and/or their older clients from local organisations to your U3A so they have an understanding of what’s involved.

                    • Current participants might be aware of other local organisations that may wish to assist their clients into physical activity opportunities.

                    • Inform volunteers about the strategies outlined in the VAAP ‘Engaging under-represented groups of older adults in organised physical activity’ document.

                    Resources:


                    Professional input

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Relevant professional bodies or associations (e.g. Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia) might be a source of advice and expertise, if needed.

                    • Physiotherapy, exercise physiology and occupational health staff at the local community health service might be able and willing to provide advice and guidance.

                    • If advice around specific chronic health conditions is required, contact peak organisations such as the Heart Foundation; MOVE muscle, bone & joint health; Asthma Foundation, etc.

                    Resources:


                    Comfortable and safe venues

                    Resources:


                    Equipment and storage

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Be guided by equipment manufacturers’ guidelines as to the frequency of equipment safety and quality checks and maintenance, and have clear roles and responsibilities around this process.

                    Resources:


                    Change rooms

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Consider other venue options if the change-room facilities are not adequate, or inquire about the possibility of necessary improvements being undertaken (e.g. in local council-run facility).

                    • A venue checklist should cover aspects such as physical access, seating, lighting, privacy, temperature control, security, availability of toilets, suitability and safety of floor coverings, etc.

                    Resources:


                    Risk management

                    Helpful tips:

                    • Risk categories that might be covered in a risk management plan might include strategic/planning; social/political, demand management; duty of care to clients; financial/budgetary; operational; physical assets/infrastructure; personnel; compliance/governance.

                    • Steps in a risk management process include identifying risks; analysing the likelihood and potential consequences of risk; evaluating the risks; treating the risks and then ongoing monitoring and reviewing of risks and treatment strategies

                    Resources:


                    Staff/Volunteer development

                    Helpful tips:
                    • Involve older people themselves in your staff/volunteer training and induction re: working with older people. Some of the older people in your organisation would be valuable in passing on useful advice from their own and others’ experiences.

                    • Inform staff/volunteers about other issues that may become apparent when dealing with older people; e.g. elder abuse, financial hardship.

                    • Inform staff/volunteers about the strategies outlined in the VAAP ‘Engaging under-represented groups of older adults in organised physical activity’ document.

                    Resources: