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Over 80 not ‘over the hill’: how to make ageing meaningful

Old age is not the end. At a time when meaningful ageing is a buzz term in aged care, researchers say that remaining engaged with meaningful activities as we get older can help us achieve just that.

International experts led by Flinders University studied the day-to-day activities of 73 adults aged 89 years on average, and assessed whether older participants reported more positive emotions at times when they rated their activities as more personally meaningful.

"In all, no matter what people chose, respondents expressed a strong emotional connection to activities which still present them with achievable challenges," says Flinders University Emeritus Professor Mary Luszcz, who has led the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

One seniors' table tennis club in Adelaide has regular attendance from people mostly over 70 years old, with five males and 1 female over 80. 

The oldest member is 88 and in "good shape" says Rod Nankivell, who oversees the group who meet twice a week.

"Enthusiasm is high with all our members, who have generally stayed with us once they start," says Mr Nankivell.  

"Remaining engaged with meaningful activities as we get older is an important part of ageing well," says Flinders University Associate Professor Tim Windsor.

Windsor joins Aged Care Insite to discuss the study and how we can achieve meaningful ageing.

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One comment

  1. I second this! My step dad is 83 years young and is still actively playing NRL football for his local area and is the oldest playing team member for NSW. Go Dad! He enjoys playing regular golf and is the president for his local RSL.

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