The best seniors programs & activities in Canberra

Start the conversation
group of senior friends playing at the park

Where are the best seniors programs in Canberra? Photo: File.

With people over 65 making up only 14.6 per cent of the Canberra population, it is safe to say our senior demographic often gets sidelined when activities and community programs are planned in the nation’s capital.

This is concerning on a number of fronts, especially with regard to social isolation among Australia’s senior population. Studies show that the population of Australians over-65 is increasing rapidly, and without the right support and encouragement, our older Australians will become more susceptible to loneliness, severing vital connections with community.

This is why activities and programs for seniors are growing in importance. But what should you look for in a seniors program, and where can you find the best in Canberra?

Let’s take a closer look.

What makes a great seniors program?

We recommend keeping the following in mind when selecting a seniors activity or program for yourself or a loved one.

  • Variety. Everyone likes to have a variety of activities to choose from, based on their interests. Some people consider social groups important, while others prefer skills development or physical activities – and these preferences may vary from week to week. A program that offers a variety of activities helps ensure you get to live your best life, on your terms.
  • Flexibility and responsiveness. Check that the program designers actively seek feedback from participants, and are flexible enough to adapt the programs to ensure your interests are met.
  • Facilities. Check to see that the facilities are well-maintained and suitable for older people. For example, some community organisations have their own gyms and exercise equipment, which some people may prefer travelling to a standard gym.
  • Are the activities enjoyable? At the end of the day, if the programs you select help you to enjoy your day, meet new people, and keep mentally and physically active, you’ve got yourself a winner.

The best seniors programs and activities in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Goodwin Day Clubs

Goodwin Day Clubs are a breath of fresh air, getting seniors out to meet new friends and enjoy interesting and rewarding activities.

With purpose-designed premises in Crace, Queanbeyan and Monash, Goodwin Day Clubs offer a supportive environment. Qualified, dedicated staff are passionate about, and dedicated to, their relationships with seniors.

Seniors benefit from socialising and spending time away from home in a safe environment, one to five days a week. Families and carers take comfort that their loved ones are well taken care of.

people smiling and laughing sitting around a table

Goodwin, one of Canberra's most recommended providers of programs and activities for seniors. Photo: Goodwin.

Knowledgeable coordinators organise a wide range of stimulating activities, including games, crafts, light exercise, BBQs and picnics. Group outings are available, and seniors can learn from listening to guest speakers and enjoy live entertainers. Services cover home pick-up and drop-off, morning tea and lunch.

Goodwin Day Clubs can be accessed as a standalone service or as part of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

Ray Seymour wrote on Google, “Great place to meet people of my age group. Staff very friendly and take an interest in you.”

Tuggeranong Arts Centre

The Tuggeranong Arts Centre offers a stimulating program of arts, music, singing and physical activities for seniors. The program is designed to fun, meet new people and make friends. There’s something for every age, personality and ability.

Art lovers can attend weekly ‘Art of Play’ classes and learn about art processes, materials and techniques in 2D mediums. ‘Every Body’ is a monthly life drawing class, facilitated by a local artist. ‘Making Time’ is a chance for seniors to make art and have a chat.

Music lovers will enjoy a collaboration with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. The ‘CSO Down South’ chamber music series is held in an intimate theatre setting. The monthly ‘Lakeside at 5’ covers folk, jazz, blues and country by some of Canberra’s best-loved musicians. ‘Sing with Toby’ is a free community choir.

Dance lovers can find their groove in a modern movement class, offering fun fitness for beginners and those with dance experience.

Woden Community Service

Woden Community Service (WCS) has provided community services in the ACT for 50 years. Its vision is to build and nurture a vibrant and connected community, working together to provide quality services that meet individual needs and encourage positive ageing and wellbeing.

WCS offers a range of seniors activities including lunch groups, walking groups, men's coffee mornings, ladies' afternoon tea group, bus outings to local and interstate destinations, and shopping trips.

These activities are open to Woden residents aged over 65 (over 50 years for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders) who require low level, basic service and are not receiving support through the NDIS or an aged care package.

Communities@Work

Communities@Work offers a variety of services for seniors across Canberra, including seniors' centres in Ngunnawal and Holder, in-home services for seniors and a community transport program. These services focus on capacity building, inclusion and social participation. They support wellness and continued independence to foster social connectedness and good health outcomes for you while you continue to live at home.

Social and recreational activities at Communities@Work's seniors' centres include gentle exercises, arts and craft, gardening, wood working workshops and high teas. It often invites guest speakers that cover a range of topics to inform and interact with the participants. It also operates social groups for seniors, such as the Men’s Group, Women’s Neighbourhood Group and Gungahlin Women’s Group, which promote enrichment, mutual support, and companionship.

Capital Region Community Services

If it’s choice and quality you’re looking for, Capital Region Community Services (formerly known as Belconnen Community Service) programs for seniors tick all the boxes.

If you like keeping fit and active, there are mature fitness and strength programs, made easier by CRCS's very own gym facilities. Prefer something social? Social clubs include Belconnen Energetic Seniors on Tuesday (BEST) club, to Connect 4, which was originally designed as a social support and wellness group for people over 65 years who are caring for someone. Regular excursions and day trips are also take place, courtesy of CRCS's community bus. From trips to national institutions or to the pub, tell them where you’d like to go and they will do everything they can to take you there.

Whilst you’re looking for seniors programs and activities, you might like to also read our articles on the best home aged care services and the best residential aged care services in Canberra.

Your experience with seniors programs and activities in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the seniors programs listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are seniors' programs?

Programs and activities for seniors are held in a number of organisations across the community, government and private sectors. The main aims of seniors’ programs are to reduce social isolation, focus on health and wellbeing, and improve the quality of life of our senior community.

Where do I find seniors’ programs and activities in my area?

An easy way to do this is to identify community organisations in your area and inquire about their programs for seniors. You could also visit the COTA ACT website for more resources and information, or get in touch with your local MLA.

How old do I have to be to take part in Seniors’ programs and activities?

Eligibility is 65 years of age, or 50 years of age for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Some may require prior registration with https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/ so it’s always good to start there in order to receive concessions and special services.

Am I too old to take part in Seniors’ programs and activities?

No, anyone over 65 years of age is eligible to participate in seniors’ programs and activities, unless there are special circumstances that require assessment.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.