Positive Ageing – How to Age Well

A Positive Approach to Later life

PosageinglogoAgeing has a really bad press, but is it really as bad as much of the media makes out? And is there anything that we can do to make our later years healthier and happier?  Research in positive psychology and social gerontology has shown that how we feel about our ageing process can have a significant influence on our experience of later life. If we approach it negatively – we are likely to have some pretty poor outcomes. If we develop a more positive mindset however, the evidence is clear that we are much more likely to be happy.

The Positive Ageing workshop busts the myths about ageing and equips you with the tools to navigate this stage in life in the best possible way. It’s not about pension planning or how to occupy your leisure time – these kind of courses can be found elsewhere. Instead it breaks new ground helping people explore the emotional and psychological dimensions of ageing and make the best of life’s third act. Watch Jane Fonda’s TED talk for inspiration. This workshop is available as a 1 or 2-day course or delivered as 6-8 sessions for companies and communities.

On completion of this course you will have:-

  • A better understanding of ageing – the myths and the realities
  • Explored your deeper thoughts and feelings about later life
  • Learned a range of practical and well-evidenced techniques to improve your choices and wellbeing in later life

“I am very glad I came – wasn’t at all sure I was wanting to think about ageing at all.”

In a typical 1-day course you can expect to :-

  • Explore the question of ageing – what it is, how it happens and how people tend to think about it. We delve into what the research says about ‘successful ageing’ and how to improve health and wellbeing in later life.
  • Look at where you are now and what your expectations and ideas are for the future.
  • Learn techniques to strengthen your resilience to the challenges that old age can throw up. These strategies include  developing an optimistic mindset, increasing our sense of gratitude and savouring the good things that happen.
  • Develop a plan for this next phase of life. At the point of retirement people typically have another 20-30 years left, most of which is likely to be lived in good health. It makes sense to spend a little time to work out how best to live this ‘third act’, maybe even consider an ‘encore career.’

“I feel like I’ve learnt some helpful hints to take forward.  It’s been very affirming.”

The Positive Ageing courses were developed by Miriam Akhtar and Guy Robertson. Miriam is a positive psychology expert and campaigner. Read her article on the Happiness Habits for Later Life published in The Telegraph. This blog on Embracing Mental Ageing describes five ways in which life gets better as we get older.

Guy Robertson is Editor of Working with Older People and has done a lot of the thinking on older people services for local and national government. He has reviewed the research on ‘successful ageing’ and distilled his findings into a practical handbook – How to age positively: a handbook for personal change in later life.

“I thought the exercises were really useful and well structured.”

On a 1-day course                                   

  • Personal discovery – exploring your attitude to ageing
  • The science of positive ageing – busting the myths about later life.
  • Building resilience to overcome the disadvantages of old age
  • Optimism practices to challenge pessimism and grow our confidence in later life
  • Emotional well-being – how to feel positive as we age
  • Exploring the encore – future planning to realise the potential of our later years

“I liked the balance between input and experiential work.”

“Really useful to look at what was for me a daunting subject in a stimulating and exciting way.  Lots of food for further thought, which is also great.”

1-to-1 coaching support can be offered as an adjunct to the training, to help plan for a positive future and realise the potential of our later years.

“Thanks for the opportunity to raise the issues and start the journey of delving into common areas.”

“I thought the exercises were really useful and well structured.”

The courses are tailored to suit the particular needs of the participants. Find out more about the positive psychology content on the course by attending one of our open courses – the Positive Psychology Masterclass or the online Positive Psychology Foundations.

We are currently working with the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Centre for Ageing Better on their Transitions in Later Life  project.

The 3-year project is testing initiatives that help people develop greater resilience for the transitions that happen as we get older, such as going from working to not working. We developed the Positive Ageing & Resilience Training course especially for this initiative and ran it as an 8-session course, a 6-session workshop, a 2-day course and an online course. Read the evaluation of the pilot.