As well as offering a positive frame for aging that honours people’s life experience and challenges the stigma of growing older, the project aims to encourage people to envision and realise a purposeful, meaningful and socially engaged life. The project engages with those coming to the end of a working life, those who seek to change their patterns of working, those who are self-employed and also those who are no longer in paid employment.
The Agewise project aims to support participants toward
• Increased quality of life and satisfaction
• Improved self-esteem and sense of purpose
• Greater social engagement and connection
• Reduced stress, anxiety, pain and social isolation
• Improved mental capacity and concentration
• Overall relaxation and enjoyment
For leaners, the workshops take the form of
Mindfulness - Mindfulness is a way of living lives more fully, with awareness, acceptance and kindness, allows us to be more alive to the pleasures of life, and to manage the challenges. It has the practical benefits of alleviating stress, anxiety and physical pain, improving focus and concentration, and satisfaction in work and in life. Practices such as breathing space, mindful walking, sitting with awareness are ideally suited to working with transition as they help bring the attention to the present, focus the mind, calm the body and take care of feelings. The experiential practices are supplemented by more cognitive approaches like the triangle of awareness of thoughts emotions and sensations, the 3 Emotional Systems (threat, drive and self soothing).
Reflective writing - One of the therapeutic benefits of reflective writing is that participants have a physical record. This allows them to re-engage with the process of change and the insights they gained in their own time. The writing prompts are designed to discover the territory of transition, to explore the times we are in, to harvest our skills and experience, mourn our losses and envision our next steps.
Movement and Relaxation - Practicing gentle Qi Kung movements and Yoga stretches helps our bodies to age well. They help us to stay supple and flexible in mind and body throughout our lives. Deep Relaxation supports the body to drop into the parasympathetic nervous system.
The project accomplishes it’s aims through partnership building with key employers, agencies and services to help to create a more holistic approach to life-long learning, development and well-being. Through embedding the project’s ethos and approaches within key organisations we maximise engagement, support professionals and service providers, enhance workers’ well-being, sustainability and resilience. Ultimately we aim to help create a more life-long healthy culture for the future.