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Language connecting our “wise people”

A NEW report released by the City of Hobart has detailed the results of research exploring the use of language in developing a deeper understanding of social connection for people over 50.

Ninety participants took part in surveys, community consultations and one-on-one interviews at Mathers House from July to October 2018.

City of Hobart project officer Grace Jones, who was the author of the report, said it was aimed to inform the aged care sector and raise awareness around how the use of language can place people into limiting age boxes.

“The findings will help build social connection through better understanding of the enablers, benefits and lived experiences, and the connection between social groups and community,” she said.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the population of Tasmania is aging, with more than a quarter predicted to be over the age of 65 by 2030.

Ms Jones said it was important to recognise the voices of wise people to make older people feel more valued and respected.

“The language used in this report refers to people over the age of 50 as wise people – this aligns closely with the preferences collected by the people who participated in the language survey,” she said.

“The word wise is connected with deep understanding and experiences of life – it is my belief that people who have more than 50 years of lived experience are in the possession of wisdom.”

To read the report, visit www.hobartcity.com.au/positiveageing.

Caption: Lesley and Betty outside Mathers House at the launch of the Story Project for Seniors Week 2018. Photo credit: Grace Jones.