Designing for Older Adults

A short course to raise awareness and understanding

There is a growing awareness of the needs and considerations of older adults. More organisations are adapting for older adults, to encourage them to be involved in their community, participating in online programs, connecting with family and friends, and maintaining their health. We want to make sure that those programs and services are equipping older adults, motivating them, empowering them, and allowing them to stay independent. This helps the individual, their families, and their communities, when all generations are working together, and sharing and supporting one another.

At the end of this course we want you to have learnt new or afresh a couple of things:
* A care and respect for older adults
* Awareness of how you can design spaces that are safe for older adults to use, and that build confidence and independence
* New skills for designing and planning clear, effective, and appropriate communications for older adults.

If you interact with older adults in the community, volunteering, or in your workplace, we want to equip you with knowledge to do it in an age-friendly way. If you are designing websites, writing communications, hosting events, or designing facilities, we want to give you the skills to do so effectively and safely for older adults.

The course trainers both have a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment and Older Adults Fitness, and are passionate about educating people with how they can work better with older adults.

Cost: $39.00
Group Rate: Discounts available for groups and organisations. Contact us for prices.
Duration: 1.5 hours
Certificate: Issued upon successful completion
Enrolment period: 60 days


What do we discuss?

Lesson 1: On Paper - The Look
Whether you are producing an event flyer, a medical brochure, a donor pack or an activities program, there is still a place for hard copy. And when designing each of these, older adults should be forefront of mind, in how they see, receive and comprehend information. Knowledge is empowering, so we want to take the time to create confidence-building resources and services - we provide lots of tips and tricks so you can design pieces that are clear, appropriate, aesthetic and effective in getting the message across to your older adult audience.

Lesson 2: On Paper - The Content
When writing and designing content for older adults, it’s important to consider not just how it looks, but also how it reads. In both cases, older adults view and comprehend information differently because of their cognitive ability, memory, vision, and prior knowledge. We want you to provide helpful supports and services, so we give you ways you can adjust your designs for older adults to provide appropriate resources, in formats that are accessible, understandable and age-friendly.

Lesson 3: In Person - Around the Room
While some potentially hazardous situations might seem obviously visible, if you are an older adult and anxious about being out of the house, feeling pain in your hip when you walk, light-headed from new medication, and worried about being able to find the right credit card when it’s your turn at the counter, you might miss the puddle of water on the ground or the sign that says the counter is closed. Eye muscles also weaken as we age, reducing the ability to move the eye and thus shrinking the field of vision. We give you lots of suggestions for how you can show understanding, and provide a safe space for older adults.

Lesson 4: In Person - Sights & Sounds
Loss of vision can leave older adults unable to read signs, unsure of their surroundings and unable to see hazards. Consequently we want to create environments where older adults can be confident that they know where they’re going, and that they’re going to get there safely. We give you ideas for how you can empower older adults to be able to find their way through by creating age-friendly signage, clear and visible pathways, and an environment that doesn’t overpower audibly with excess background noise or visually with distracting marketing.

Lesson 5: Online - Websites
When you are motivating older adults to try something new, or switch to a new technology, educate them and provide resources and support services to help them learn and adopt the new technology. Remember that older adults are usually open and willing to learn, although might need a little encouragement to get started. Whether you are designing a new website, an automated process, or collecting information via online forms, we discuss ways you can support those new to technology, and designing appropriately to ensure they are able to use the systems comfortably and effectively.

Lesson 6: Online - Technology
There’s a whole new language for older adults to learn - ‘cloud’, ‘URL’, and ‘app’ are words that young people have grown up with, but they have to be learnt, understood, and applied by older adults. There is going to be a period of overlap as people adopt new technologies. Some will still prefer the traditional ways, some are happy to try new things, and others will strike a combination of paper and digital, old and new, virtual and tangible. When providing services and programs for older adults, we give you ideas for how you can take into account all of these things and include options so that everyone can access and use the resources they need, regardless of where they are on that technology spectrum.

Lesson 7: Wrapping it Up
When we design communications, processes and spaces that leave older adults feeling overwhelmed, scared of falls, confused, or ignored, we are saying that we either don’t care about their needs, or weren’t concerned enough in the first place to find out what those needs were. Creating a website with small fonts and pop ups, or running an event with loud music and flashing lights, says that we care about what we think looks great, more than what the user’s experience is going to be. As we bring it all together, we offer a few more ways that we can show care for older adults, and build effective communications and safe environments.

Course Reviews

Designing for Older Adults

5 star rating

Very useful, lots of practical information

Kaye Elias

I work with older adults in the fitness industry and I found this course very useful. For me it was a reminder of the ways to prepare, plan and create the be...

Read More

I work with older adults in the fitness industry and I found this course very useful. For me it was a reminder of the ways to prepare, plan and create the best environment for older adults. It combined practical information with an awareness of valuing the experiences of older adults. The course also reminded me how to best create a safe environment and a friendly and respectful relationship with older adults.

Read Less
5 star rating

Affordable and well presented PD

Nerida Dye

Good platform, reaffirmed learning, well presented and resourced.

Good platform, reaffirmed learning, well presented and resourced.

Read Less

Team Training

For organisations and businesses

Do you want to build a team that are informed about older adults, and know how to interact and engage with this wonderful age group? Do you want to make sure that older adults interacting with your organisation have a positive experience and leave feeling valued and respected?

We have great group discount rates for our courses that allow you to train your team of staff or volunteers with ease. We'll take care of enrolments and technical support, and can even send you reports of how many have completed the training. Each participant receives a certificate to show they've successfully completed the training. Let us do all the work for you, to ensure you have a team that understand older adults, and are offering the service and support they need.

Complementary course

Communicating with Older Adults

Are you or your team interacting with older adults on a regular base? Take our short online course to understand the challenges and changes that older adults are facing, and how you can best respond and accommodate.
Online Course: Communicating with Older Adults

Or bundle them together!

Understanding Older Adults

Whether you and your team are volunteers or employees, in the community or in big business, we can all learn how to better communicate, and design, for older adults. Save money and complete both our courses together!
Online Course Bundle: Understanding Older Adults