Positive Ageing

Positive Ageing
Kevin Mo & Alice Gummery
School of Psychology
The University of Western Australia
What is ‘normal’ ageing?
• What do you think are some of the normal
changes as we age?
What is normal?
Not so normal
Gradual changes in memory
Loss of memory
Becoming disoriented (confusion)
Changes in speed of thinking
Less sociable, isolated
Changes in social functioning
Changes in emotional functioning
Wisdom remains, and even
What can we do to help with these changes?
• When learning new things: don’t rush, avoid distractions
• Use mnemonic devices
• Keep “to do” lists / use “post-its”
• Use a calendar/diary/mobile device
• Stay active, social, and healthy – e.g., Men’s Shed!
• Don’t buy into ageist stereotypes!
What is the role of emotions?
• Memory
• Thinking
• Interpretation
• Attention
• Sleep
• Health
Strategies for Optimising
Mental & Emotional Health
• Physical exercise (especially aerobic exercises)
– Take the stairs rather than the lift
– Gardening
• Maintaining social connections
– Frequent interaction with family, friends and work colleagues.
– Engaging in social activities
• Stimulating mental activity
– Learning a new hobby
– Problem solving activities
• Eating a healthy diet
– Fruits and vegetables
– Foods high in omega 3 (salmon, kiwi fruit and walnuts)
Positive Ageing
Talk to your doctor, reduce stress, take care of your body,
get connected to the community, and set small goals!!
Our team’s research
Healthy Ageing Research Project (HARP)
• Thinking skills as we age
• Prospective Memory and healthy ageing*
• Awareness of Prospective Memory
• Sleep and Prospective Memory
I need to remember buy
milk on the way home
Prospective Memory and Ageing
• Old vs. Young
• How does Prospective Memory change as we age?
• How does it relate to other abilities?
• Is it sensitive to things like dementia?
Our Research
• Prospective Memory and how well people take their
• Prospective Memory and Multi-tasking
West Australian Participant Pool
• BUT…
• We need volunteers
• Exploring the mind with WAPP
• http://wapp.psychology.uwa.edu.au/wo
One volunteer says…
“Of course, the University has easy access to young
volunteers but they need more older people. The
projects are very interesting and quite good fun - I
recommend being a volunteer! The tests usually
last about one hour - why not have a go?”
J. Griffiths.
How you can help
• No participants = no research!
• Why people say ‘no’
I am too old/young
I am not clever enough
It will be stressful/embarrassing
I won’t have any choice about what I do
I won’t be able to change my mind
• Thank you for your time and
• Do you have any questions?