In Summary

Director of the world’s longest running research on human development, Professor George E. Vaillant from Harvard Medical School, will present a two-day workshop on successful ageing based on his surprising research findings.

The 75-year longitudinal study referred to as the Grant Study, followed 268 male undergraduate students from Harvard University. The fundamental aim of the research was to discover what really makes people happy in life.

Presented by Swinburne University of Technology’s Psychology Clinic, Ageing Well provides a rare insight into the makings of successful healthy ageing.

Professor Vaillant’s research shows that the relationships we cultivate in adulthood serves us well into the later parts of life.  He said there is also a lot that older adults can do to age well and offered three key tips:

“One, in midlife befriend someone at least 85 who is ageing well; two, learn how to take playful enjoyable vacations long before you retire; three, happiness is love full stop.’

Professor Vaillant’s work has also provided valuable guidance to those who work in aged care. One of the key messages he has for aged care workers is being able to confide in someone.

“Caring for the aged can be very gruelling and care workers need support in groups. Find a colleague who will listen to your complaints and listen to theirs,” Professor Vaillant said.

Swinburne Psychology Clinic’s Dr Sunil Bhar is pleased to have Professor Vaillant visit Swinburne to share his findings.

“Professor Vaillant provides gold standard research over five decades and now summarised into real lessons for life on what it means to age well,” Dr Bhar said.

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