The knowledg and skills of the elderly are a massive, largely untapped resource. Capture and use this resource to provide education to the community as stress busters for attendees and mind stimulators for the elderly facilitators.
After working for over 20 years in corporate healthcare I had a heart attack last year at 47. I am otherwise fit and healthy. I cycle, run, eat well, normal BMI, normal BSL, normal BP, normal cholesterol. The outstanding factor in my profile was my stress levels. My stress buster was my cycling and running but more and more they were pushed to the background as corporate needs continued to grow. Soon after my heart attack a mate of mine said 4 simple words to me. "DO WHAT YOU LOVE" My love has always been photography and graphic design but I never made enough time for it. I'm largely self taught but my stress levels evaporate whenever I reach for the camera or open the laptop and start to create.
My Big Idea is that everyone has an interest or a passion that is a great stress buster. Often, not enough is done because of lack of time, lack of skill or a bit of both. Consequently the potential stress buster goes missing and stress levels continue to rise. At the other end of the equation is a massive knowledge and skills resource that lies largely untapped in the hearts and minds of the elderly. They retire from the workforce and 50 years of acquired knowledge is pretty much shelved the day after they retire. It has been shown that keeping people mentally stimulated can reduce dementia levels. How powerful is all that knowledge that is shelved. What an amazing resource. Essentially my idea is to offer retirees a fee (paid for by users) to share their knowledge in either a one on one or group setting. To keep it manageable the topics would be matched to available retirees willing to get involved. The users of this would be the entire community looking to upskill in an area of interest. The benefits are many including emotional, physical and financial as per below. 1: social interaction for the elderly helping keep them engaged 2: mental stimulation for the elderly helping reduce onset of dementia 3: financial compensation for the elderly supporting their minimal pension payments thus reducing financial stress for retirees (needs to be exempt from pension calculations) 4: stress busting for the greater community 5: increase value and appreciation from the greater community for our elderly 6: potential reduced hospital admission costs for attendees who do reduce their stress levels 7: potential reduced hospital admission costs for the elderly facilitators as their value is appreciated and they remain mentally engaged. 8: potential reduced financial stress on the PBS as less medications are needed 9: elderly with no family have a great opportunity to engage with the community
TO DO LIST A website would need to be developed where the greater community could find a stress busting activity. Approaches made to private health insurance companies to engage them to offer reduced fees to members who engage the services of an elderly facilitator. Resources made available to support teachings Fee structure set Topics offered established (reviewed 12 monthly to reflect available resources) Communication to the retirees seeking skill set and willingness to get involved. Consider available facilities for holding teaching sessions. Initial basic training sessions offered to the elderly around teaching iPads/tablets/printers provided free of charge to elderly facilitators as a training resource.