We all age, but ageing well can be easier and more achievable than first expected. Based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, charities in Bristol have worked with local older people to produce a booklet entitled 'The Little Book of AWE - Ageing Well Everyday' with key messages and tips on how to incorporate activities and attitudes to our daily lives to improve our wellbeing and happiness, with a focus on later life.
Science shows us how paying attention to the simple things in life can make a big difference to our happiness, whatever your age. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a set of evidence-based actions which promote people's wellbeing. They were developed by the New Economics Foundation and are widely used by health organisations and community projects across the UK and around the world to help people take action to improve their wellbeing. These five ways are: Connect, Learn, Be Active, Notice and Give.
"As I've got older I've learnt that happiness can come from the simple things in life. I love to look out my kitchen window and watch the busy birds feeding on the bird table first thing in the morning. They make me smile." said an 80-year-old Withywood resident who participated in the project.
The Little Book of AWE shows examples of activities older people can do in Bristol that would have an impact on their wellbeing, such as spending time with others doing what they love the most, learning about nature at Bristol Zoo, joining a local walking group, volunteering at the local library, and visiting parks and green areas in the city. By connecting with others, learning new things, staying active, taking time to notice the world around us and giving to others, we can all feel happier, more positive and be able to get the most from life.
The booklet was funded by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB), a partnership working to reduce social isolation and loneliness among older people in Bristol, and produced in collaboration with Happy City, whose aim is to improve lives through a focus on happiness; and local older people.
Ruth Richardson, BAB Programme Manager, talked about the experience of producing the booklet: "Working closely with older people to find ways to improve later life is at the heart of the BAB programme, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Happy City and over 100 older people in Bristol to create this booklet. We would especially like to thank all of the older people who gave us happiness tips for the booklet - by reading it we can all age well every day."
The Little Book of AWE will be made available to the public for free at local community centres, libraries and voluntary organisations. To receive a copy, please contact Bristol Ageing Better on 0117 928 1539. For more information visit www.bristolageingbetter.org.uk.