Healthy ageing, characterised by independent living, participating in and contributing to society, is a UK and Welsh Government priority (Department for Business, Environment and Industrial Strategy, 2019; Strategy for Older People in Wales, 2013). Healthy ageing includes remaining physically active; however, older adults are the most sedentary and least active population subgroup (Townsend et al., 2015) which in turn results in well-established negative consequences for wellbeing and health and social care costs (Office for National Statistics, 2012). Thus, there is a need to enhance older adults’ physical activity (PA) and decrease sedentary behaviour which can impact positively on their ability to maintain their activities of daily living (Lewis et al., 2017), and subsequent independence for longer. In their review of barriers and facilitators of physical activity in Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) older adults, Ige-Elegbede et al. (2019) highlight that physical activity is particularly low in this group, and the incidence of related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes is particularly high; there is, therefore a need for physical activity interventions that are acceptable to this group. Our research will include BAME older adults to ensure that it is equitable across the population of Wales and will support the future population of BAME people over 50, who are projected to make up 22% of this age group in England and Wales by 2051 (The Future Ageing of the Ethnic Minority Population of England and Wales, 2010). At a societal level, the project can contribute to potential economic benefits in Wales gained through PA initiatives with older adults (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 2006). Working with our Research Partners we will apply findings to raise awareness of how home environments can be enhanced to encourage PA, and its impact on wellbeing. In turn, this will help to enable PA and wellbeing in older adults in South Wales, thereby empowering them to maintain a sense of autonomy and participate fully within their local community (Strategy for Older People in Wales, 2013).
This research aims to understand how to enable older adults to live independent, purposeful and fulfilled lives within connected communities, by establishing ways in which their home environment can stimulate and enable physical activity and enhance wellbeing.