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Locally improved app and website offer easy ways to age better

Wednesday, October 19, 2022   Posted in: Resources and Information By: Administrator With tags: technology, older adults, health, wellbeing

Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand media release: 17th October 2022

An updated app and website are being launched to help people stay stronger for longer and add life to their years.

The free and easy to use digital service is called LifeCurve™. It helps older adults stay active and independent and is based on international research about ageing.

Users can take the LifeCurve™ quiz to map how they are ageing based on their ability to do 19 everyday activities – such as reaching their toes to cut their toenails, walking up and down stairs or cooking a hot meal.

They can then receive a personalised results package with movement routines and hints and tips on how to age better, stay active and improve their position on the LifeCurve™.

Users can also choose a goal such as ‘Take care of myself’, ‘Manage everyday tasks more easily’ or ‘Improve my strength and balance’ to receive personalised advice based on research and knowledge from physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

LifeCurve™ was developed in the Bay of Plenty, and can now be used by anyone in New Zealand.

An earlier version of the app was launched in the Bay of Plenty last year. However, the LifeCurve™ team at Te Whatu Ora knew they had more work to do.

Project Lead Kathy Everitt says that they have been working in partnership with Māori through Te Pare ō Toi and a local Te Ao Māori focus group for the last several months to ensure that adaptations to the new app are in line with a Māori world view.

“Research shows we can make a difference to how we age and that getting older does not have to mean losing our abilities or independence” says Kathy.

“It’s about changing our attitudes to ageing - no matter what age we are, small changes like adding more movement into our lives can make a big difference.

The LifeCurve™ is based on Newcastle University research around age-related functional decline and has been in use in the United Kingdom since 2018.

The research proves that ageing does not have to mean losing your abilities, as ageing is only 20% genetic.

Users can download the app from the Apple or Android (Google Play) app stores by searching for ‘LifeCurve’.
Alternatively, they can find a link on the LifeCurve website.

Kathy suggests that people who don’t have smartphones, or who need help with using the app, choose a support person like a family member or friend to help.

The app and website have a whānau focus which allows one account holder to create several profiles, similar to Netflix. This means one account holder can help several different family members or friends to age better.

You can try it on the LifeCurve website.

More improvements will be made to the LifeCurve™ service based on user feedback over the next few months.