Growing older doesn’t automatically mean that one wants to stay cooped up inside the house all the time. It’s natural that some things may change as we age, but many older individuals still like to stay active and have fun – besides, experts even agree that activity and socializing are great for seniors’ well-being. Fortunately, if you’re an older adult (or a carer for a beloved senior) looking for a fun, wholesome way to spend a few hours this month, the NSW government has something prepared for you: the 2019 NSW Seniors Festival!

The yearly event is the grandest event for elderly adults in the state, and it will run from Wednesday 13 February to Sunday 24 February 2019, and it’s something you won’t want to miss. There will be fun activities for adults over 60 from all over NSW.

The Expo

Of course, the much-awaited NSW Seniors Festival Expo is kicking off this Thursday, 14 February, 9am at Hall 4, Exhibition Centre at the International Convention Centre (ICC), Sydney, and will run until Friday 15 February.  You’ll be well-advised to wear comfy shoes because there will be lots to do and see at this free expo such as exhibitors, live music and entertainment, games, and prizes (who doesn’t like prizes?!).

There will be at least 50 exhibitors ranging from government offices, non-profit organisations, and companies like Australian Over 50s Guidebooks, Centre for Volunteering, Eclipse Travel, Bay Audio Hearing Experts, NSW Seniors Card, and more, who are dedicated to helping seniors live their best healthy, and active lives and learn how they can help you.

You can join workshops like the MCA’s “An Artful Workshop,” where participants can play around with watercolours, experiment with stop-motion animation, and learn about the MCA’s programmes from the museum’s art educators. For those who want something more energetic, HammondCare is hosting “Dance, Groove, and Move” a two-part workshop featuring gentle exercise techniques taught by physiologist Matthew Sciacca and more dance-like (yet still senior-friendly) moves led by dancer Corinne Urquhart. To find out more about these, and the other workshops on offer, click here, or check this link for schedules for presentations like “Stay Mobile and Continue Your Independent Living: Information Session on Ageing with Beautiful Movement” by BPS Tensegrity, and more.

As a special treat on the 14th, there’s “An Evening at the Expo,” with Dr. Harry Cooper, Australia’s favourite vet, where he regales expo visitors with stories from his legendary career and how he’s been living his life as an active senior. Seniors will get a chance to let their hair down and groove to Australian rockabilly legend, Lonnie Lee’s musical stylings. It’ll be a fun Valentine’s evening and it’s all free!

Another plus? Your friends from Kalinga Team (creators of the Kalinga Health app) will also be there enjoying the sights of the events, so please don’t be afraid to say “Hi!”

The outdoors

Organisers of the NSW Seniors Festival understand quite well that elderly adults also love the outdoors, so there are a number of exciting events tailor-made for seniors happening during the festival, such as:

  • HarbourCare Kayak – (Saturday, 16 February 2019. 7:30am – 10:30am) Participants are invited to join a volunteer program to help collect rubbish along and on the Sydney Harbour. This is suggested for seniors of medium-level fitness.
  • Twilight Croquet for Seniors – (Sunday, 17 February 2019 and Sunday, 24 February 2019. Both at 4:00pm – 6:00pm) For a mixture of sport and socialising, seniors can join either one of two sessions, or both sessions, of this croquet event where they can learn to play golf croquet or gateball.
  • Birdwatching for Beginners – (Saturday, 23 February 2019. 9:00am – 12:00pm) Animal lovers can join the meeting up at the Café at the Waterview Convention Centre to go birdwatching at Bicentennial Park.

Indoor fun and learning

Aside from the great outdoors there are a number of music, food, art, and educational-related events going on during the festival period. Here are some of them:

  • The Apia Young at Heart Film Festival(Wednesday 13 February 2019 – Wednesday 27 February 2019. Various venues and times) Presented by Palace Cinemas, this film festival will be happening around the country with specially-curated movies for cinephiles aged 60 and above.
  • Moove and Groove Silent Disco for Seniors – (Friday 15 February 2019. 12:00pm – 2:00pm) Here’s a unique take on a disco at the Crows Nest Centre where older adults follow a routine led by music therapists while listening to their own favourite songs on wireless headphones.
  • Understanding Chronic Pain(Friday 15 February 2019. 10:00am – 12:00pm) Lots of seniors experience chronic pain due to illness or injury and this talk from the Illawarra Shoalhaven Chronic Pain Service is set to teach the elderly and their carers how to manage pain.
  • Better than Before – (Friday 15 February 2019: 11.00am – 12.00pm) Gentle movement class by Shona Lee of Moving in Tune. The elderly adults will be taught on how to improve their movements by understanding how their body parts and brain relate to each other. Shona has also invited our very own Dr. Frenn Aben to give a talk, also on the theme of improvement.

These are just a sampling of the different activities going on around the NSW Seniors Festival, so we hope you find time to check out the official website here to get more details. We hope you come down to any one of the events, but especially the Expo where the Kalinga Team is going to be. See you there!