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Best Seniors Programs & Activities in Canberra

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 19 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.

Communities@Work

Communities@Work

Communities@Work offers in-centre and in-community events and activities for seniors, providing an opportunity to meet and make friends, experience great activities and have fun over a hot lunch.

Its monthly seniors programs and activities are updated each month. Whether you are after gentle exercises, interesting excursions, informative talks, arts and crafts or a men’s group, Communities@Work has something for you.

Other regular seniors programs include fortnightly sing alongs and bingo, as well as the Women’s Neighbourhood Group, which is open to women of all ages.

245 Cowlishaw Street
Greenway ACT 2900
Belconnen Community Service

Belconnen Community Service

If it’s choice and quality you’re looking for, Belconnen Community Service’s (BCS) programs for seniors tick all the boxes. Its programs and services include social clubs, exercise programs and day-to-day living services. Every program is developed through community consultation – if there is a need, BCS will deliver.

Having served the community for over 40 years, BCS has its finger on the pulse of the Canberra community, and is always trying to find new ways to enrich Canberrans’ lives and foster integrated and inclusive communities.

If you like keeping fit and active, there are mature fitness and strength programs, made easier by BCS’s very own gym facilities. Sessions range from light exercise to low-impact cardio, machine-based strength, choreographed weights classes and health promotion programs with a focus on falls prevention.

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 BCS’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. Click here for more information.

BCS’s Community Transport service also provides transport for seniors to make day-to-day travelling easier. Click here for details.

Phone: 02 6188 7001
26 Chandler Street
Belconnen ACT 2617
Woden Community Service

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.

26 Corinna Street
Woden ACT 2606

Canberra Seniors Centre

Canberra Seniors Centre in Turner is a meeting place for people aged 50 and over, with more than 370 members across Canberra. Classes range from light exercise and dance through to computer skills, craft, mahjong, painting and language lessons.

Members can also drop in at any time for a cup of coffee or tea, while lunches – including birthday lunches – are regularly served.

Member Royce shared their experience at Canberra Seniors Centre on Google Reviews: “A small seniors centre doing a great deal for seniors. Dropped in to see what it was about. Joined up straight away.”

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.

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