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Aging People's Leisure Time Essay

1558 words - 6 pages

Age is both an observable and a universal demographic; country like Australia is facing this issue. Australia’s population has aged steadily throughout the 20th century (Australian government, 2005). In the year 2005, it is estimated that 14 percent of total Australian population was more than 65 yeas of age, and expected to rise to at least 18 percent by the year 2021(ABS, 2005). This enormous increase arises from three basic facts: the increased number of “baby- boomers’, the accelerated immigration of young people until the 1970s who are now among this group and a declining birth rate in Australia since the 1960s. During 1945 to 1966, there was a high birth rate hence labeled as the “baby-boomers”(Philip, 2005). Those people immigrated during 1970s, belongs to aging group now and people are living longer due to the better life. Over the past 30 years, life expectancy has increased from 78 to 80 years of age among men and from 81 to 84 years of age among women (ABS, 2005). Consequently, how to take care of the aging people is a critical issue, especially in leisure area. Leisure is important for people of all ages, but is especially so for the elderly since they are likely to retire and have more time to engage in leisure activities (Alder et al., 2005). The two domains of life in this category are the leisure and recreation domain including hobbies, entertainment, sports, relaxation, as well as the arts and culture domain, which is further sub-divided into festivals, performances and exhibitions (Veal, 2000). Therefore, provision of high quality, affordability and accessibility of leisure facilities will be crucial in caring for the growing number of older people.Generally, older active and frail are the main two types of ageing people. The older active means people who are above 65 year olds and under 85 years old and older frail people are above 85 years of age (Barnes, 2002). The proportion of people over 65 years will grow from 13% as at June 2002, and will increase to one quarter of the population by 2051. The proportion of people over 85 years is expected to grow from 1.4% as at June 2002, to around 6% by 2051 (Carey, 1999). More and more people are growing old, thus, leisure is one of the most important factors to the older people after their retirement. According to research, most of the older people stay at home instead of going out to do physical activities. The most popular home based recreation and leisure activities amongst older people are reading, watching television, gardening, listening to radio/music, arts and crafts and interacting with pets (Veal, 2001). Maintaining health and fitness at old age is public health priority. However, despite the benefits of physical activities, many older people are much less active than desired (Mackenzie, Rivett, & Suzanne, 2005). Hence, promoting physical activities among older people is a priority for the Australia Government. The reasons are physical...

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