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Conscious Ageing

Elyse Frankel

Clinical Psychologist
Perth, Western Australia

What does it mean to you to age? And what does it mean to age consciously -with intention and awareness ?

To age is to experience life- with its roller-coaster of ups and downs, of love, loss, wisdom and regrets, and ideally to come to a sense of acceptance and peace within oneself, before we face death. Each of us manages ageing in our own ways, as we have faced other transitions throughout life, with a variety of genetic predispositions, life experiences and priorities.

To age consciously involves taking stock of where we are now in life, what our priorities are for the years ahead and to prepare ourselves. This includes practical matters such as finances and advance care planning of course, but the emotional, psychological and spiritual preparation is often overlooked.

Where are you now in the ageing process- what are your life circumstances?

Some of the possibilities include:

Depending on the circumstances we find ourselves in as we move into our latter years, the next stage will be partly determined for us. Our experiences of family and friends who have grown old will colour our expectations and impressions of what it means to age, and will also influence the fears we have.

What are your fears and concerns about ageing?

The sorts of challenges that many people experience as they age include:

In addition to the fears, there may also be a recognition of the opportunities that lie ahead…

What do you feel excited about at the latter stage of life?

There are many exciting opportunities in the third trimester such as:

Given some of the challenges and opportunities,

What do you want from the third trimester of life- what feels important to focus on as you age?

Perhaps the following:

Where do I start in this process and what tools are available on the journey?

A process of reflection and examination of one’s life may include a life review, journalling, spiritual contemplation, therapy, reading, talking with peers, attending workshops- whatever your preference is for exploring and preparing for this transition.

Some suggested reading and other resources:

Books

TED Talks

If you would like to discuss and explore further what this stage of life offers you, please contact Elyse on 0414 764 663 or at elysefrankel@westnet.com.au

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