Development of the WESTERN plan for promoting active ageing in care and retirement residencies
The WESTERN plan (Walking, Exercise, Snacking, Tai-chi, Edification, Relationships, Nutrition) aims to provide personalised plans to promote active ageing in adults living in care settings.
About the project
Provided via a digital platform built with a user-centred approach and rooted in behavioural science, the WESTERN plan motivates, prompts and supports individuals to help prevent mental, physical and emotional decline.
This research aims to address the problem of maintaining mobility, wellbeing, and quality of life in older adults in sheltered accommodation, assisted living, care homes and people who require outreach care. In other words, this project will aim to provide a personalised programme that transforms these settings into ones that facilitate rather than impeded active ageing.
Often when individuals reside in such facilities there is a tendency to succumb to an ageing stereotype characterised by a detachment from the wider social community, a reduction in physical activity, apathy towards cooking and eating healthy, balanced meals, and feelings of helplessness. Consequently, age-associated conditions such as cognitive impairment, loss of physical function, frailty and poor mental health are highly prevalent within this population.
Fortunately, many of these issues are preventable (or at the very least, can be decelerated) through simple lifestyle behaviours. Providing a system to motivate, prompt and support older adults to include health-enhancing ‘self-care’ behaviours into their daily routines can promote active ageing, and curb any preventable mental, physical, and emotional decline.
The WESTERN plan (Walking, Exercise Snacking, Tai-chi, Edification, Relationships, Nutrition) aims to provide a simple, personalised programme that is rooted in behavioural science to optimise motivation, engagement, and acceptability. The plan, which will be provided on a target-user informed digital platform for integration of behaviour change techniques, scalability and dissemination, will provide structure for users, care staff and family members and act as a basis for continued growth, value, belongingness and thriving health and wellbeing in residents.