Who Is Wisdom Project Australia?

Wisdom Project Australia‘s 8 week course has been designed to help guide seniors and over 60s  through their life journey in an enjoyable, safe & social setting with like-minded people.  Meet new people and have fun as we show you how to navigate and resolve past issues in order to make the rest of your life a satisfying and fulfilling experience.

Wisdom Project Australia was first formed between late 2017 and mid 2018, when we circulated five surveys to a wide range of over 55 year olds. The five surveys covered Aging, Work, Family, Life Events and Health and Wellbeing, with at least fifty respondents answered each survey.

After analysing the survey results, Wisdom Project Australia designed their Program of eight weekly sessions to help participants share, reflect and gain a better understanding of their complete life journey. We guide participants through the past and into the future with a series of engaging and stimulating activities.

We also run a FREE Half Day Taster so you have an opportunity to sample the program for yourself and decide if it is for you, before embarking on our 8 Week Program.

Our 8 Week Program and our short Tasters are designed to be socially engaging, exploratory and food for the inquiring mind.

Wisdom Project Australia Seniors Attending Painting Class Together

Gail has long engagement in the helping professions. She has worked with people from all walks of life, in cities and regional centres across Australia. Gail has developed a great deal of respect, interest and awe in the many life stories that she has heard. And on her journey, Gail has of course developed a wide variety of skills with which to accompany participants on their journey.

Our 8 week course guides participants through the past and into the future with a series of engaging and stimulating activities.

The Wisdom Project Survey Results

Over 312 survey results have been obtained. The survey results at May 2018 are summarised below. We are more than happy to discuss these further with you.
Men represented 20.05% of the total respondents, with the bulk of all respondents aged between 60 and 80.

How Did They Respond?

  • Wisdom Project Australia’s Aging Survey confirmed our underlying belief that many people over 55 are comfortable about their age although just over 10% ‘disliked’ being older. The survey confirmed our idea that many people have regrets about things that have happened in their lives and that they spend a lot of time thinking about them, despite being generally satisfied or thankful for how things turned out. Not surprisingly, over 42% were regretful about their choices in life but more interesting was that 36% had regrets about finances and over a quarter had regrets about family matters. About 67% of respondents thought about these regrets daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 

  • Just over half of our Work Survey respondents were retired but just under half were still doing some paid work and a surprising 66% actively enjoyed working while less than 8% couldn’t wait to retire. The demands of work interfered with their relationships for 30% of respondents and they also clearly caused over 60% of respondents to get organised about their use of time. Both child rearing and health issues caused about 30% of respondents to take some time out of work but remarkable almost 90% of respondents were satisfied with their work life financially.

 

  • Both family of origin and current family were considered in our Family Survey. Overwhelmingly respondents saw their family of origin and warm and supportive but (not adding up to 100%) some-thing like 42% mentioned upsetting, demanding and abusive as descriptors of their early family life. On a positive note, 50% of respondents considered that their family relationships have become increasingly comfortable. Despite this, just on a third of respondents noted that they had lost contact with immediate family members for long periods of time – and this included 10% who reported losing contact with a child/children. Some 60% of respondents noted that they are in a loving and supportive relationship now and almost 70% said they are happier than they have ever been. This survey also included analysis of the question: ‘What are the skills and strengths that have helped you throughout your life?’.

 

  • The fourth survey asked a range of questions about Life Events. This survey looked at possible major life events and asked respondents to consider the impact of them on respondents’ lives.Unsurprisingly, many people over 55 years old still considered events such as the loss of a parent, grandparent or even good friend as ‘life changing’. They also noted that losses of relationships in respondents mid-years (30-50) had more impact than if the loss occurred in their 60s. Their own, a partner’s or a child’s illness also had a major impact.Naturally becoming a parent had a major impact on many respondents with 80% considering the impact to be ‘massive’. And lastly, 60% of respondents said that there were events in their lives that they had never shared with anyone with most citing a sense of privacy for this but 15% cited embarrassment and 12.5% citing not wanting to distress others.

 

  • 20% of respondents who participated in our Health & Wellbeing Survey noted the impact of mental illness on their lives and many more noted physical illness or disability impacted them both when under 50 years old and over that age. Despite this, 45% of respondents judged their health to be ‘excellent for my age’ whilst less than 9% reported being chronically unwell. Some 43% of respondents reported mental illness at some time in their lives (and two respondents reported having experienced depression as a separate matter – that is, they did not see it as a mental illness). About 16% of respondents thought their mental illness stemmed from their work environment while 35% saw their home life as the origin of it (and 7% thought it was a combination of both). When asked who they thought experienced the main effects of their mental health issues, 71% identified themselves, 24% their spouse and 21% their children. Fifteen percent named their friends as those most affected. Nearly 50% of respondents felt their mental health had improved since they turned 60 and this general trend is confirmed in other research. About 40% of respondents noted the impact of another person’s mental illness on their lives. Lastly these respondents may not be ‘typical’ of over 55s as almost 90% reported doing two or more hours of activity a week and also 70% reported putting greater emphasis on their health and wellbeing.