Positive Ageing – WayFairer Project

Inclusion Solutions works in partnership with other organisations who understand the impact and importance our aging demographic has on society. These partnerships bring together a thorough understanding of communities and the significant social impact older adults can have on communities across WA.

A New Approach

Over the last decade, work in regards to older adults has centred on how to deliver services and programs to “seniors” with an underpinned “cost” or “service” to the community. Traditionally this has been focused at adult aged 70+, with little to no focus on adults aged 50 – 70.

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.

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. This has to change!

The WayFairer Project

Inclusion Solutions and Life Time Wise (LTW) have collaborated to develop a new approach that works with older adults transitioning toward retirement and using their experience, skills, knowledge and interests to fill gaps in community organisations

The WayFairer Project captures the grossly underutilised knowledge and talents amongst older adults (aged 50 – 70), supporting them to repurpose these attributes into the local community, helping them find a sense of social value, purpose and belonging, while building the capacity of their local community organisation and sharing their knowledge.

Community groups, clubs, not-for profit organisations and schools will take part in a Gap Analysis, where specific needs and gaps within the organisations are identified. This will provide information on how best to match WayFairers with community groups who need help. The Gap Analysis will assist local governments to understand the challenges groups face and how best to address them.

Simply put, the WayFairer Project will strategically utilise the talents of older residents to help provide solutions for existing gaps in the community. This will include working alongside the committed network of not-for-profits, who are always searching for help and skills. Critically, the WayFairer Project, through the Gap Analysis will identify early how best to create cohesion and collaboration amongst the community based groups.

The WayFairer Project helps older adults, and community networks, help themselves, and in doing so, build a greater sense of belonging and inclusion within the community.

For more information, please contact: info@inclusionsolutions.org.au  or call 08 9201 8909

INDIVIDUAL OUTCOMES

This framework delivers significant outcomes for people which include:

  • Mental and physical stimulation
  • Challenge
  • Social connection
  • Purpose
  • Meaning
  • Sense of belonging
  • Sense of contribution

COMMUNITY OUTCOMES

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

Derek’s Story

“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

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