Super-Agers: Transforming the lives of older adults
Andrew Thomas, Group Manager, Prevention and Wellbeing. Bridgend County Borough Council
Partners: Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC; Merthyr Tydfil CBC; Public Health Wales; Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations; Halo Leisure; Awen Trust; Merthyr Leisure Trust.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
The Super-Agers project aims to increase physical activity opportunities for older adults via a regional partnership approach across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board footprint. Super-Agers aims to co-produce supportive community activities with older adults with a focus on maintaining independence in communities. The project has been successful in securing 400k of Healthy and Active fund investment over 3 years including a national focus on evaluating improvements to physical and mental wellbeing. This has seen connections to integrated care and transformation projects.
The strategic case identified a projected 27% increase in the ageing population of Wales by 2039 and a 22% increase in adults living with a chronic condition, whose lives might be improved by increased physical and social opportunities. The business case identified more cost-effectiveness via a regional collaborative approach including local authorities, public health and the third sector. It identified an ambition of “empowering” older adults to own and sustain a range of community activities and social prescribing opportunities. The financial case has projected that building resilience by improving the skills, knowledge and confidence of volunteers and enhancing third sector and community groups may be a prudent investment and reduce the need for day services or home care support.
The Super-Agers logic model has targeted a series of Future Generations outcomes including healthy lifestyle behaviours, ability to influence local decisions, ability to access services needed, volunteering rates, reducing loneliness and supporting good mental wellbeing scores. Super-Agers has been connecting with other prevention programmes to identify how to best capture impact in a range of ways.
The key focus has been on developing an approach to capture the impact of preventative interventions on population wellbeing.
Mobilising a regional programme of this kind has needed to ensure flexibility for partners to respond to local circumstances. The national evaluation approaches have not always been effective for the demographic group and other qualitative approaches have needed to be used. A programme that is targeting population groups that have been hard to engage needs to be sensitive and proportionate in its evaluation approaches to retain their participation.
Following the national Covid-19 lockdown, alternative ‘[email protected]’ approaches have been developed including resource packs, activity books and telephone mentoring.