Seniors reveal paths to health and happiness

Close connections with family and friends are keys to wellbeing, according to senior residents at a community forum in Guyra last week.

Thirty-seven invited community members shared their ideas during the Guyra Wellness Exploration on 23 June, held by the New England Sector Support Team in collaboration with Council’s Guyra Home Support Services (HSS).

Participants examined a series of questions about the things that made them happy, the times they needed help and what wellness actually means.

“As you might expect, family and friends were regularly recurring themes throughout the discussions,” HSS Coordinator Wendy Warner said.

“Participants regularly brought up the importance of being socially active and having physical access to services and groups.

“The workshop brought together seniors from throughout the Guyra district, to identify the things that keep them healthy and happy or, conversely, might be preventing them from living life to the full.”

A similar forum is being planned for the Tingha district, where Guyra Home Support Services continues to assist residents. A local government boundary realignment has moved Tingha and the surrounding area from the Armidale Regional Council area to Inverell Shire Council area from this month but HSS is still contracted to provide services to Tingha residents.

A date for the Tingha wellness forum is expected to be announced soon.

The forums coincide with a review of Armidale Regional Council’s Home Support Services Policy. The draft policy goes on exhibition from tomorrow and submissions can be lodged until Wednesday 28 August.

“While we will be conducting community engagement for the draft policy, including liaising with existing HSS clients, the forums will provide valuable insight to the wants and needs of seniors in our area,” Mrs Warner said.

“Kindness, holidays, enjoying food, gardening, art and exercise were all raised as sources of happiness. So was the need make your own happiness just as important as making everyone else happy.”

To see the draft Home Support Service Policy and provide feedback, visit Council’s community engagement website, Your Say Armidale. Printed copies of the draft are also available to read at Council’s Guyra and Armidale offices.

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