/bg/file/hefillresizedjpgHealthy and Fit in Later Life
Edita Satiene is a project manager at the Seniors Initiatives Centre (SIC) and she organises physical activities for older persons. A few years ago Edita was in need of fresh ideas and innovations in order to make her activities more efficient and decided to use Grundtvig. Here’s how international collaboration helped her in her practice.
SIC is an association for older persons who seek personal fulfilment through informal learning activities that help them gain competences and skills necessary to cope with change and remain active in society. Based on the needs of older persons, we develop training offers, sometimes in cooperation with professional educators, to promote healthy and active ageing. SIC also motivates older persons to engage in voluntary activities, and share their knowledge and expertise in various social situations.
Our centre needed professional advice for developing exercising offers for older people while taking into consideration their functional limitations and health condition. At the same time we had to make the physical activities attractive and motivating.
We believed that international exchange of knowledge and expertise through Grundtvig was perfect for bringing new ideas and expanding our horizons, but also for changing attitude of fitness clubs and personal trainers to old age clients.
We wanted to reach trainers working with older persons in other countries, get to know their practices and learn new methods on how to organize physical activities for older persons. For this we needed to finance travelling and accommodation abroad. We also looked for opportunities to show the world to older persons who couldn’t afford to visit other countries and introduce them to other cultures.
The key issues were coming up with innovative physical activities for older persons and organising them. We planned to organise workshops in partner countries and demonstrate the programmes they offer for their organisation, club, and community members. After the workshops we had discussions on how to transfer and adapt the good practice in another country. The cultural aspect of the programme included visiting sport-related sites in the project partner’s city.
A pleasant surprise was that while preparing for local workshops, our partners involved other stakeholders from their city and region and arranged visits to other organizations working in the field of healthy and active ageing. This was a great opportunity to expand our networks and start new initiatives.
In terms of measurable results, we’ve achieved quite a lot:
- each partner organised 4 organized and hosted by each partner and recorded in the minutes;
- we demonstrated, discussed, adapted and transferred different physical activity methodologies for older persons;
- there was an interview with Heide Klabers on Rodgau community TV and a CD highlighting the relevance of healthy and active ageing;
- we also developed a CD with a recorded model lesson for older people with Parkinson disease;
- we created a poster in English, German, Italian and Lithuanian with 10 tips to start exercising;
- last but not least, we organised a final conference with policy makers and adult educators.
I have benefited greatly from this project both personally and professionally. I started exercising regularly, and I gained knowledge and confidence to advice sedentary older people and encourage them to start exercising. I saw many good practices and used every opportunity to disseminate them in meetings with local policy makers.
One of my fondest memories is from the workshops in Ferrara (Italy), Rodgau (Germany), Graz (Austria) and Kaunas (Lithuania) and in particular the belly dancing class during the farewell dinner in Kaunas.
Working with international partners was nothing but beneficial. Collaboration with partners from other countries expands horizons and gives fresh ideas, and it motivates us to work harder. Without taking part in this project I would not know how specially designed exercising could improve health condition.
I’d like to say a special thank-you to Heide Klabers (Rodgau, Germany), Paola Bottoni and Giulia Brugnoli (Ferrara, Italy), Anita Heinz (Graz, Austria), Kristina Zaicenkoviene and Aurelija Macaitiene (Kaunas, Lithuania).
Click here to watch a short film on 'Healthy and Fit in Later Life' (English and German, English subtitles, length: 29 min)
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