Inclusion Solutions work in partnership with Life Time Wise, to assist in developing age-friendly communities across Western Australia. This partnership brings together a thorough understanding of social inclusion principles and frameworks and combines a significant amount of research and work with older adults across metro and regional Western Australia.
A New Approach
Much of the work with regards to older adults over the last decade has centred on how to deliver services and programs to “seniors” and then the “elderly” and is usually culturally underpinned as a “cost” or “service” to the community.
Burden-based programming sells many older adults short and creates a ‘dependency culture’ among the receivers. This typical mode of thinking does not account for the immense gifts, knowledge and skill possessed by older Australians and hence, does not see them as holding the answers for many of the issues faced by modern-day communities.
Inclusion Solutions and Life Time Wise (LTW) have collaborated to develop a new approach that includes older adults in the provision of knowledge, skills, values and attributes to their community of interest.
Based on personal interviews and coaching conducted with over 1,200 individuals, older adults leaving the paid workforce, either fully or phasing-out, have much in common. The notion of ‘gifting’ their skills is seen by older adults as a worthy use of their time, however, our significant research indicates that many individuals are in volunteer roles that don’t match with their skills or interests, rendering the volunteering experience as unrewarding and time-limited.
Inclusion Solutions and Life Time Wise have developed a framework of engagement that promotes the skills, interests and passions of older Australians to address existing gaps in the community. By reattributing or repurposing the skills and gifts that reside within the older Australians, we are able to make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and on the community.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08 9201 8909
This framework delivers significant outcomes for people which include:
- Mental and physical stimulation
- Social connection
- Sense of belonging
- Sense of contribution
For the broader community, this frameworks results in:
- Addressing real community gaps
- Improvements in social connectedness
- Increase in community safety
- Significant economic returns
- Decrease in social isolation
- Increased sense of community pride and community satisfaction
“Hi, my name is Derek Bond and when I was in my final year of employment at ECU, I had the good fortune to attend a ‘retirement planning’ seminar that was conducted by Andrew Kikeros from Life Time Wise. The focus of the workshop was to help individuals understand the role in which paid work has shaped their identity and how to replace the intrinsic benefits of paid work (purpose, meaning, connection) with life after they leave.
In the afternoon session there were various invited guest speakers and one of them was Denver D’Cruz from Inclusion Solutions. I was very impressed with the philosophy of the organization – ‘enriching communities through social inclusion’ – and what Denver had to say. I requested and retained Denver’s business card and when I retired, I contacted Inclusion Solutions to see if there were any volunteer positions.
I was made very welcome and valued. Following a consultation with Inclusion Solutions, where they got to know me, the process of volunteering commenced with ease. I was tasked with researching individual case studies (people who wanted advice for recreational possibilities to suit their individual needs), and assisting on a larger/macro level with researching and creating data bases that was relevant to the overall work/mission of Inclusion Solutions. These roles were specifically of interest to me and aligned well with my skills in research and information gathering.
The work was challenging (learning to use different Search Engines for the research side), and very fulfilling knowing that I was playing a role in helping people across WA be ‘socially included’. What was ideal for me and my personal situation, was that I could do the work in my own time as I was not bound to set hours and I could carry out the tasks from anywhere. My wife and I split our time between Perth and Sweden each year and this role made it feasible for me to stay connected and have purpose even whilst away in Sweden.
I can sincerely recommend the notion of personalised and skill-related volunteer work – it is a way of ‘giving back’ and it certainly helped me significantly in the initial stages of my retirement. I am very pleased and grateful for the opportunities that were given to me – and appreciate the wonderful support of the entire team!”
– Derek Bond, Volunteer