JUMPING in a bubble bath for a video clip, Helen Gower even surprised herself at how willing she was to give it a go.
But it was all about embracing life.
Ms Gower was part of a community arts project, teaming the city’s Rebel Elders with young musicians, from a wide range of genres, to capture elders’ rebellious streaks. The music and movement told their stories.
Finished product were on show for City of Ballarat’s inaugural Celebrate Healthy Ageing Expo at the Mecure Ballarat Hotel and Convention Centre this week – and Ms Gower’s bubble bath scene proved popular.
“You just need to be out there and keep living for healthy ageing,” Ms Gower said. "I find the more you can fill your life with activities you enjoy, you find you get results.”
Ms Gower said healthy ageing was also making sure life did not beat you.
Physically, Ms Gower was unable to play indoor bias bowls anymore, so she keeps her competitive streak alive playing cards, mostly 500.
Her sentiments were reinforced by a string of passionate guest speakers, including Celebrate Ageing director Catherine Barrett who has been keenly involved in Ballarat’s Bigger Hearts dementia-friendly city campaign.
Dr Barrett said ageism was pervasive, yet is gradually happens to everybody. She urged everyone to challenge their internal perceptions of age and speak up for yourself, rather than worry about what society dictates.
“We do an exercise where we get people to say what they love about their own age and as we move around the circle, with people of the same age, you realise there are lots of things you love about your age,” Dr Barrett said. “It helps reminding people you may not be able to change society’s perception on age but you can decide how you feel.”
Meanwhile, Dr Barrett confirmed Ballarat will host a cutting edge national symposium exploring ‘dementia and love’ on Valentine’s Day next year. There will be a strong arts basis with music, performing and visual arts. All speakers will be people living with dementia. It follows last month’s successful Bigger Hearts campaign.
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