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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

‘Social connections’ celebrated during October’s Queensland Seniors Month

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Queensland Seniors Month will celebrate the lives of older people in October, with activities and events planned for the entire month.

Minister for Seniors Craig Crawford said Ballet for Seniors workshops have returned in 2021.

“This event goes to the heart of what Seniors Month is all about,” Crawford said.

“Dance encourages healthy and active living and positive social engagement for Queenslanders of all ages.’’

Older ballerinas Christine Bell, 64, and Vicki Wilson, 66, said seniors ballet was purely for fun.

“Ballet gives you balance; it exercises the mind. It’s good for the heart and soul,” Wilson said.

“I can’t do a pirouette like I used to, but the music lives on in the heart. I just love it.”

Bell said ballet made her feel fitter, more supple and more flexible.

“Nobody judges anybody, it’s also very social,’’ she said.

Seniors Month celebrates the theme ‘Social Connections’ and begins on October 1, the United Nations International Day of Older Persons and ends on October 31, Grandparents Day.

I can’t do a pirouette like I used to, but the music lives on in the heart. I just love it.

Older ballerina, Vicki Wilson, 66

Crawford said Seniors Month 2021 will be active, fun, inclusive and importantly, will foster social connection for our seniors.

“We know that being connected to others in the community is vital for our seniors and an important aspect of managing mental and physical wellbeing,”

“During the month-long celebration people of all ages, cultures, and abilities are encouraged to connect with the older people in their lives.

“Kicking off the celebrations in 2021 will be screenings of the B.OLD short films, which were created to challenge negative perceptions of ageing and to spark conversations in communities across Queensland about how we can make our state more age-friendly.

“These ten short documentary films showcase Queensland seniors living their lives to the full and feature entertainers and advocates, athletes and artists making extraordinary contributions in communities around the state.

Crawfors said he was pleased to announce organisers have partnered with Event Cinemas to host special screenings of the films at 20 locations statewide on Tuesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 7 as part of Seniors Month celebrations.

“The films will be available online from October 1, so we can all host a screening at home, at work, at your local community centre, school or library.”

The minister said the Queensland Government has invested $100,000, through a partnership with the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland, to support community groups, non-government organisations and local councils to host local events and activities during Seniors Month.

COTA Queensland is once again working with the Queensland Government to support inclusive events and activities across the state.

COTA Queensland chief executive Mark Tucker-Evans said Queenslanders value the contributions that older people have made and continue to make to the state.

“Humans are social creatures, and have a fundamental need to connect and interact with one another,” he said.

“This year’s theme ‘Social Connections’ will reinforce the importance of feeling socially connected and the importance of bringing together Queenslanders of all ages, cultures and abilities to celebrate the essential roles that older people play in our society.  

“We invite all generations to connect and celebrate with their families, friends and communities, through local events and activities.”

  • Visit qld.gov.au/boldfilms and register to host a B.OLD film screening
  • Visit qld.gov.au/agefriendlycommunity and find out more about participating in a Ballet for Seniors Workshop (note – content not live yet, aiming for Wednesday).
  • To find out more about Queensland Seniors Month and events in your local area visit qldseniorsmonth.org.au.
  • To find out more about Queensland Government services and supports for seniors visit qld.gov.au/seniors or call the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500.
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