“Telling our stories is not only a way for us to process, heal and grow, but it’s also a gift we offer to others. It’s the best way I know to inspire hope, change and possibility.”
Kelly Rae Roberts
There is a lady in my church, Jenny, who affectionately refers to our elderly congregation members as ‘the Oldies.’ She herself is in her seventies, so I find her moniker gently amusing, and she is one of the wisest people I know, and the kindest.
She is one of the reasons why I value our elderly citizens so much—because they have value. They have so many stories to tell, and stories have so much potential to change our perspective, open our eyes, and transform our society—as we here at Heritage Films are so passionately aware.
And our oldies need to tell their stories.
In 2017, 15% of our total population was over the age of 65—that’s 3.8 million Australians—and, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimated 10-15% suffer of them from depression or anxiety.
And according to Beyond Blue, the rates of depression among those living in residential aged care are much higher, around 35%. The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in Australia.
There are lots of reasons for this. It includes health problems that might involve disability or pain, loneliness and isolation due to a dwindling social circle or decreased mobility, a reduced sense of purpose or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations, and the grief of recent bereavements.
Sadness over these losses and changes are normal, but depression is not, and it seems that many older Australians are living with that constant state of emptiness and despair that marks depression.
But there is hope.
One of the key ways to reduce the risk factors of depression, especially for the elderly, is to keep engaged—socially, mentally, and physically. Get out into the world and spend time with people.
Beyond Blue says, “…there are lots of things you can do to expand and strengthen your social networks. If you want to be closer to others in your existing relationships, you can work on improving your communication and emotional connectedness; for example learning new skills to help you talk about the important things in life with loved ones, or even just making more time for regular conversations.”
In other words, spend time with people, and get talking. Tell those stories.
One of our passions here at Heritage Films is getting people together—especially, going to the movies together. We love facilitating group bookings so that when people experience one of our films they are also building relationships and community at the same time.
And we have a great film for you, something sweet and uplifting that you can take that favourite ‘oldie’ to. Something that can get him or her talking about the important things in life, and leave them feeling like there is hope for the future.
In the tradition of The Notebook and The Fault in our Stars, comes New Life. The captivating story of love, commitment, hope and beauty in every moment, and triumph out of our tragedy.
NEW LIFE premieres in cinemas December 6.