Active ageing in Unley

Age friendly city 

The City of Unley is proud to be recognised by the World Health Organisation as an Age Friendly City and Community.

Council launched it's Active Ageing Strategy in 2016 and partners with government agencies, industry providers, service clubs and community groups to improve quality of life for people as they age. 

Active ageing strategy(PDF, 6MB)

How do I get involved?

At the City of Unley we believe that ideas, services and initiatives developed for older individuals in the community must be developed in partnership.

The Active Ageing Alliance is a forum of older citizens who volunteer their time to work with the Council to oversee the implementation of our Active Ageing strategy. The Alliance meet quarterly and are invited to provide input and attend events throughout the year, in order that they can share their experience and contribute to making the City of Unley a wonderful place to grow older.

A few of the key projects supported by the Alliance can be found further on this page, and a link to the full Active Ageing Strategy which shows the wider scope of their input is provided below.

We wish to have a diverse Alliance with individuals from all ages and stage of life after 60, to express your interest in joining, contact the Active Ageing Project Officer on (08) 8372 5111.

If you just want to find about a bit more about Active Ageing and stay updated with information and events relevant to you, there is a free Active Ageing Newsletter you can join. This brief regular newsletter will come direct to your inbox and you may unsubscribe at any time, if you wish.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an age friendly city and community?

The environment in which we live - the physical and social infrastructure, neighbourhoods, buildings, services, facilities and opportunities to be involved – impacts on all of us. The social and built environment affects our health and wellbeing and this becomes more significant as we age.

An Age Friendly City and Community is one where people of all ages can live healthy and independent lives for as long as possible, and remain in a secure and supportive environment that enables them to participate in the community as they grow older.

When did the age friendly city initiative commence?

The Age Friendly City initiative was launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2005. It was created in response to the rapid ageing of the world’s population and the increasing numbers of people living in cities. The WHO initially partnered with 33 cities around the world which collaborated with older people, their carers and service providers to determine the features of the urban environment that help, or hinder, active ageing. There are currently over 287 cities and communities who have partnered with the WHO to become age friendly – and this number is growing.

The City of Unley became the first South Australian council to join the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities in 2012. 

What is active ageing?

The World Health Organisation defines ‘active ageing’ as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age”. Active ageing starts when we are very young. The circumstances we encounter and the choices that we make during our lives will impact on our quality of life when we are older. The healthier we are we reach old age, the better our quality of life. An age friendly city helps people to maintain their health throughout their life course by providing the physical and social infrastructure that supports active ageing.

Who benefits from an age friendly city?

Both globally and locally we are experiencing great social change - people are living longer and in better health.  By 2013, the number of South Australians aged 65 and over will double and, for the City of Unley, over 30% of these people are likely to live in lone person households. Currently over 2,000 Australians turn 65 each week and, over the next 40 years, the number of people in Australia aged 65-84 is estimated to double and those aged over 85 will quadruple in number.

Additionally there is a transformational shift in the way our people wish to grow older - we are reinventing “ageing” and what it means to grow older. 

This will have increasing impacts on our City - our people will expect improved infrastructure and urban design to increase mobility and accessibility, more reliable and comfortable transport, adaptable housing options that enable them to continue to be a part of their community, activities and programs to support social connection, enjoyment and lifelong learning, improved health care and social support services, increased choice and options and seek more opportunities to participate, contribute and be heard.  This requires a new approach to all that we do, ensuring our policies, programs, services and facilities are best positioned to meet this demand.  

Related projects

Unley Legends

The Unley legends video series is a partnership project between the City of Unley and Resthaven. Now in its second season, the project was a finalist in the LG Professionals SA Award for Community Partnership and Collaboration and also contributed to the City of Unley winning the Active Ageing Australia Celebrate Age Award.

The project explores and shares the perspectives of older people as they age and the benefits of staying active mentally, physically and spiritually.
Unley Legends showcase inspiring legends of the Unley community who shatter the stereotypes of ageing.

Forget Me Not

Council's 'Forget Me Not' program provided Unley Primary School students from Grade 4 and 5 with dementia education and the opportunity to meet with people living with the condition. 

Funding from the State Government's Office for the Aging enabled Council to commission the University of South Australia to undertake the study with the goal of finding ways to create a dementia friendly community in the City.

A partnership with ECH enabled the children to go on an excursion to undertake activities with clients as part of their specialist dementia program.

The program was well received with results reviewed by the University of South Australia.

Age friendly streetscape project

Walking, one of the best forms of physical activity, is heavily influenced by a well-planned and maintained streetscape. We know that people are more likely to walk if the route is safe, amenable, comfortable and sheltered.

The Age Friendly Streetscape Project seeks to create a network of streets across the City of Unley that have well designed and maintained footpaths, are accessible for all, and have plenty of seating and shade.

The City of Unley has developed Age Friendly Streetscape Guidelines to consider in all redevelopments of streets and open spaces.

The first designated Age Friendly Streetscapes are:

  • Burnham Avenue, Myrtle Bank

  • Ferguson Avenue between Glen Osmond and Fullarton Roads

  • Fisher Street, Fullarton and Myrtle Bank

  • Goodwood Road between the tram line and Angus Street

  • Leader Street, Wayville

  • Lily and Ophir Streets between Goodwood and King William Roads

  • Young Street between Unley and King William Roads continuing into Trevelyan Street.

Each of the above streets have vinyl ‘Age Friendly Streetscape’ decals along the footpath to promote them as a safe, accessible and well-designed walkway.