Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey, Chair of the Age Well Inquiry Panel:
“The Mental Health Foundation is today launching an online initiative to recruit people born between 1946 and 1955 for a ground-breaking project, Age Well.
This two year project is investigating how ’baby boomers’ can be supported to protect their mental health and improve their wellbeing as they grow older.
People can sign up to join in on the project website.
People born in the post war period are the generation that were at the forefront of the massive social changes that have helped to create modern society. The liberalisation of social values, increased consumer choice, independence and individualism – all shaped us and were shaped by us. The project is exploring how these life experiences might affect our attitudes to protecting mental health in later life.
I am delighted to be involved in this project. Mental ill-health, particularly depression, currently affects a significant proportion of older people. Around one in four people aged 65 or over suffer from depressive symptoms that are severe enough to affect their quality of life and which often go undiagnosed and untreated. We hope that the project will challenge the view that mental illness in later life is ‘normal’. So far we have collected background evidence to provide an overview of the lives of the ‘baby boomer’ generation and an analysis of the factors that can lead to mental illness among older people.
We would now like to find out more about people’s experiences, attitudes and expectations through face to face interviews and group discussions and through the website. People born in 1946-1955 are invited to register and join the project. We will send out a survey to everyone who registers and an online debate will be launched later this month to open up discussion. We aim to get people’s views about age and attitudes to ageing, important life influences, retirement, future plans and social relationships and the service they prefer.
Come and have your say. We want to provide guidance to help individuals, policy-makers, service providers and businesses understand what will benefit, improve and protect the mental health and wellbeing of baby boomers. We want to change the experience of getting older. We need your involvement to get it right.”
16 September 2011