Generating ideas for ageing and wellness

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A recent New Times article celebrated the generosity of Resthaven Incorporated whose Board donated $250,000 to the South Australian Synod to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Uniting Church in Australia. The donated funds are to be used by Uniting Church SA congregations, faith communities and mission networks to contribute to positive ageing of older individuals in the congregation and community.

All congregations, faith communities and mission networks currently engaging in positive ageing and wellness activities, or who wish to implement new initiatives in this area, are invited to apply for funding through the 40th Anniversary Ageing & Wellness Grants.

The Ageing & Wellness Grants Committee recently extended the application deadline, providing plenty of time to discuss ageing and wellness initiatives with your church. Applications will be assessed on a continuing basis at any time from 15 October 2017 until 30 March 2018.

Activities, projects and initiatives seeking grants can be big or small, new or established, for the church or the wider community.

Struggling to think of ideas? The Grants Committee has come up with some suggestions:

Programs dealing with isolation

  • Bus trips to the Adelaide or Monarto Zoos, the beach, Clare or other regional areas, or shopping districts like Harbour Town
  • Monthly morning or afternoon teas with the playgroup that meets at the church (intergenerational time)
  • Monthly meal and board games or brain teasers
  • Hymn sing or old-time concert (many churches already hold these and can apply for grants to support them in future)

Health and wellbeing

  • Monthly gentle exercise program with a physiotherapist for 12 months
  • Seniors’ neighbourhood walking group
  • Seniors’ group that meets regularly pays to have speakers come out and talk about positive ageing, healthy eating, managing medicine, aged care options, etc.
  • Seniors’ cooking classes (e.g. ‘cooking for one’)
  • Community garden run by Adult Fellowship at your church

Spirituality

  • All-expenses-paid day retreat to Stillpoint for a course on ‘learning to be Mary after life as Martha’
  • Free seminar at your church about prayer or theology with a local ecumenical leader
  • Monthly visit from an art therapist to run a time of reflection
  • An ecumenical lunch or tea for older members from all of the local churches

Equipment

  • Chairs with arms for the church
  • Items to fit out a men’s shed program
  • Games to facilitate intergenerational activities (e.g. Scrabble, giant Jenga, mini golf set)
  • Library of resources for ageing health or spirituality
  • Items to help seniors monitor their energy usage in their homes, helping to stretch their pensions

Do any of the ideas above sound like something your church community could engage with? If you’d like to initiate one of these projects or ideas, please approach others at your church to discuss how this could work. You do not need to be a minister or leader in your congregation, faith community or mission network to get an idea off the ground! If you think this is something your church could engage with then please speak to your minister, church council or other church members about applying for one of these grants.

For more information about the 40th Anniversary Ageing & Wellness Grants or the application process, please visit sa.uca.org.au/ageing-grant or contact Julianne Rogers, Grants Administrator, on 8236 4233 or jrogers@sa.uca.org.au


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