A group of researchers are embarking on a three-year study that aims to make it easier for older people to stay active in the community.
The multidisciplinary study will be conducted by staff from Queensland University of Technology’s Schools of Design, Information Technology and Health.
As part of the study, 1000 people over the age of 50 will be surveyed and in-depth interviews will be conducted with smaller group, who will also be asked to keep a diary of their activities.
Dr Evonne Miller from the School of Design said the project would examine the impact of the environment on older people in rural, regional and urban areas.
“We are looking at how important the social and built environment is in facilitating quality of life for older Australians,” she said.
“We will be looking at access to public transport, affordability of various activities, links to friends and family, and seeing how we can encourage social participation and make it easier.
A major concern of the study is to address social isolation and a declining ‘sense of community’.
The researchers plan to produce report and an interactive workshop on CD-ROM, containing guidelines and recommendations for policy-makers, planners, and community organisations.
There is a scholarship opportunity for a PhD student who wants to research in the area.