What is wellbeing?

Wellbeing recognises that everybody aspires to live well. The Index of Wellbeing for Older Australians measures the wellbeing of older people by bringing together a range of data about people's participation, resources, education, housing and functional ability. This gives us a picture of people's overall lives, rather than focussing on any single indicator. It also allows us to focus not only on the drivers of disadvantage, but also on what is going well in communities that are experiencing high wellbeing overall in or in particular domains, so that we might be able to reinforce this in other communities.

Who are we?

The Index of Wellbeing for Older Australians was commissioned by The Benevolent Society, and produced by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra.  NATSEM is one of Australia’s leading economic and social policy research centres, and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost centres of excellence for microsimulation, economic modelling and policy evaluation. The Benevolent Society is Australia's first charity, and is also behind a number of initiatives that seek to enhance the wellbeing of older Australians, including:

Why are we doing this?

Wellbeing is an important part of a fulfilling life, and while indicators of wellbeing for the overall population are increasingly available, there are currently few indicators of wellbeing specifically about older people. When presented on a community level, the index provides important information on what factors impact on wellbeing for older people. This information can be used by policy makers, researchers and community workers, and by communities themselves, as the basis for decisions that impact on the wellbeing of older Australians.

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