What is Hono Mai?
We know that people who maintain their social connections throughout their retirement and later years enjoy significantly improved health and wellbeing. Persistent feelings of loneliness and social isolation have been shown to have negative impacts on health and life expectancy.
These pages are a resource for you, your family, whanau and important others to help plan your social old age. It’s never too early or too late to plan how you will stay connected to others in ways that are meaningful to you.
Hono Mai provides helpful prompts for thinking about how to maintain social connections as time goes on, links to relevant websites, and a range of resources to help your planning and exploration.
Why is Hono Mai important?
Everyone experiences loneliness from time to time. As we grow older we can be more prone to feelings of loneliness due to natural factors of aging and life events. But we can take steps to ensure we continue to enjoy enough social contact to live fulfilling and connected lives.
It can be easy to assume that loneliness and social isolation won’t be a problem if we have family/whanau around, but in our modern world family may not be enough. These days families may not be nearby, and/or may be unable to meet all our social needs due to work and family commitments. It is important to talk openly with family about each other’s expectations. How much support and companionship can they provide, or do you want?
Planning for all stages of retirement
Many of us do quite a bit of thinking and planning around our early retirement years, but we often don’t think much about the years after 80. With more and more New Zealanders living well into their 80’s and 90’s, it is important to think through how to remain connected in these later years, when health or disability issues are more likely to occur.
Getting help for persistent feelings of loneliness
For some people loneliness is an ever-present emotion that impacts negatively on their lives. If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has persistent feelings of loneliness it is a good idea to seek help. You could ask your General Practitioner or contact the following:
Lifeline (open 24/7) - 0800 543 354
Healthline (open 24/7) - 0800 611 116
Here is a useful PDF that you can print out and fill in with your own individual plans for each of the 8 areas below.