The Australian Psychological Society (APS) defines Positive Ageing as:
“the process of maintaining a positive attitude, feeling good about yourself, keeping fit and healthy, and engaging fully in life as you age”.
Ageing is often associated with many rewarding experiences but is also a time when significant changes might occur, such as a diminution of physical vitality and function, contracting social networks, limited employment opportunities, and loss. Keeping a positive attitude towards ageing is vital as studies indicate that a positive attitude improves physical and mental health. It also enables people to maintain a sense of control and quality of life as they face another part of the life cycle.
Why Positive Ageing?
There is a worldwide growth in populations of people aged 55 years and over. This trend was described by the United Nations as “unprecedented, unparalleled, persistent and profound” in its presentation of immense challenges to the structure of society. This dramatic demographic change is often lamented as a ‘problem’ that somebody needs to ‘fix’. However, as Paul Lynch (Minister for Ageing, 2009) put it:
“the fact that people are living longer is a very positive thing. And while an ageing population poses challenges, it also presents a range of opportunities and benefits to older people and to the community as a whole. The challenge for government and the broader community is to make sure that as people live longer, they continue to lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. Whatever we make of our lives as we get older, most of us want to continue to be valued for our abilities and our capacity to contribute to society.”
Positive Ageing through PPI encompasses: vitality and health; meaning and purpose; social connection and rewarding relationships; dementia risk reduction; and resilience.
Dr Barry Partridge, one of PPI's Senior Advisors, is a leading expert in Positive Ageing for organisations, individuals and the community. Barry is also an expert in Intergenerational Management, a process that has helped organisations reduce rates of early retirement, improve operating costs and productivity while yielding long term benefits to employees and the greater community. His research into the implications of unconscious biasing on managers’ decision making at work, combined with his experience in Intergenerational Management, makes him uniquely suited to address the challenges of an ageing workforce.
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