As a nation we’re living longer than ever before. With the tail end of the ‘baby boomer’ generation now turning 50, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has opened a ‘wellbeing bank’ at www.boomers.org.nz
“We are continually reminded about making financial plans for our retirement, but how many of us ever think about planning for our emotional wellbeing in later life?” asks Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the MHF, and a baby boomer herself.
This new website will show people how to plan for their mental wellbeing in later life. It also tackles the stereotyping and discrimination associated with ageing, and how to boost your mental health.
“Ageing is part of life, but we can plan so that our older years have meaning, purpose and joy,” Judi Clements says.
“Encouraging the idea of planning for your emotional wellbeing in retirement, or when you ease off the work pedal a little, can help make what is often a very difficult life transition, much easier.
“We want people to start building their own personal ‘wellbeing bank’ by providing them with some simple tools, resources and examples that will create resilience and allow people to flourish in their later years,” she says.
The new website www.boomers.org.nz includes a series of profiles of inspiring ‘boomers and beyond’ aged from 58-81. They’re ordinary people from a variety of backgrounds, but their stories highlight some key factors that lead to a long, rewarding life. They challenge some of the ageist stereotypes and assumptions of our current society. When asked, ‘When is a person old?’ answers varied, but most agreed that ageing is all about a positive attitude. They also agreed that being connected to family, whānau and their community, being open to learning new things, staying active and appreciating the small things, helped them to enjoy life. Added to that, most conceded there was a bit of luck and some good genes involved!
“These stories show that the ingredients for living well in our later years are quite simple. They also show that whatever age you are, it’s never too late – or too soon – to start your own wellbeing plan,” Judi Clements says.
The boomers website also includes a recommended reading section, advice from psychiatrist Dr Chris Perkins, along with a list of other relevant websites and information for a more in-depth exploration on ageing and associated topics. The Mental Health Foundation’s Resource and Information Service also holds a number of resources on ageing and can point people in the right direction for more specific information and support.
For further information or comment, please contact:
Mobile: 021300 594