It's time to Play Up

The Arts Health Institute is getting ready for a celebration of ageing with its third Play Up Convention in Sydney next month.

A key topic addressed at the Play Up Convention is ageism.

Photo: A key topic addressed at the Play Up Convention is ageism.

­­It will focus on ‘The Future of Ageing’, with national and international speakers, and a huge range of surprising, entertaining, engaging and interactive workshops and pop up performances.

“We need to care about the design of aged care now,” says Arts Health Institute chief executive officer (CEO) Dr Maggie Haertsch.

“If you’re interested in aged care, this is an opportunity to come and be bold, be brave and create change.”

The ‘uncoventional convention’ explores ageing and ageism and what we can do to help elders set and meet goals and live their dreams.

“We look at how aged care providers can support older people, and what the future needs to be for them. It’s not only about caring for someone but enabling them to still have their hopes and dreams,” Dr Haertsch says.

“If you simply ask people and really listen to what they would love to do, if you truly are open to it, it’s amazing what people will say and how simple it will be to help them achieve that.

“We are saying you can do whatever you want to do, no matter how old you are. You just need to work out how you can get there.”

A key topic addressed at the convention is ageism. How we speak about ageing, how we report on it and how we think about it in our society.

“There’s a sense of fear around ageing. The idea of depreciation, decline and becoming less able as we get older.

“There’s a broad community tendency not to value the older person, yet elders have a richness to their life that is incomparable.”

Dr Haertsch and the Arts Health Institute think that getting older is actually quite a lot of fun, and that shows with a program chockablock full of inspiring sessions.

Australian food guru Maggie Beer will share her insights about food for an ageing population, legendary Eileen Kramer’s ‘Dance 101’ “is not to be missed”, and the convention will see the Australian premieres of two films addressing ageing; ‘Hip-Hoperation’, and ‘The Age of Love’.

Speakers at the convention will discuss topics ranging from virtual travel and other new technologies, to academic research, crowdfunding and community-based initiatives for aged care reform in line with government moves toward consumer directed care.

Leading speakers include virtual traveller Stefan Pernar, sociologist and author Dr Patricia Edgar, augmented reality tech developer Mike Seymour and the CEO of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, Nick Ryan.

The convention is aimed at aged care providers, policy makers, creatives, business leaders, health professionals and researchers focusing on ageing and aged care.

“We’re hoping to expose the shift of thinking about ageing with this kind of convention. We’re very much addressing the concept of ageing and ageism, but also the role of aged care providers in consumer directed care and enabling for the future, and then having that conversation about goals and dreams,” Dr Haertsch says.

“It’s also a wonderful way of spending two days to activate your imagination, because we are going to have to be more creative to understand how services can be more flexible for the future,” she says.

The 2016 National Play Up Convention is held on 14 and 15 March at The Parade Theatres at NIDA on Anzac Parade in Kensington, NSW.

To register and download the brochure, visit the Arts Health Institute website

Take a peek at why you should attend the convention in the YouTube clip below: