Empowering older people could be key to positive change

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A research team led by Curtin University has demonstrated the potential of older people to play a direct role in addressing community issues that affect them, such as food security.

Published in Health Promotion International, the study placed study participants aged 51 to 87 in the role of citizen scientists while attending the subsidized community. days destined to improve security and reported on ways in which they thought the initiative could be changed to better serve them.

Principal Investigator, Associate Professor Anthony Tuckett of the Curtin School of Nursing School, said being able to pay for and access food was a growing problem for older people who lived longer and had to stretch their financial resources further. .

“Initiatives such as subsidized community market days are increasingly important to strengthen among older citizens, however, there have been few attempts to understand these initiatives from the perspective of community members, which is where our research came in, ”said Associate Professor Tuckett.

“In the role of citizen scientists, study participants attended market days, took photos and made voice recordings and written notes documenting the experience and recommending ways to improve the initiative, such as through changes in the process of supplying and storing food and altering market design for better access.

“Together, participants discussed, gathered and brought their findings to a public meeting with relevant decision-makers, including market operators, a local councilor and a FoodBank representative, which resulted in several improvements. on market day “.

Associate Professor Tuckett said it was important to give older people a voice on issues relevant to them and to have them in the role of scientific was a shocking way to achieve this.

“Citizen science is a useful and feasible approach to involving older people in data capture and advocacy for change to ensure that local initiatives meet the demands of the community they serve,” said Associate Professor Tuckett

“Our research demonstrated its ability to produce real changes in the places they frequent and the facilities they use, such as theater centers and shops, streets, parks, bicycle roads, care centers and, in this case, , a community market day.

“There is a possibility of implementing similar projects that give older people the opportunity to bring significant changes to their built environments, thus addressing issues of concern that improve their quality of life.”


How healthy aging affects the built environment


More information:
Anthony G Tuckett et al, Using Citizen Science to Empower Older Adults to Improve a Food Security Initiative in Australia, International Health Promotion (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / heapro / daab060

Provided by
Curtin University


Citation: Empowering the Elderly Could Be Key to Positive Change (2021, June 25) Retrieved June 25, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-empowering-older-people -key-positive.html

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