No one knows what the future holds as they grow older, but ageing well has much to do with the choices people make for what perhaps is the most important chapter of their life’s journey.

Age doesn’t limit a person’s ability to live a fulfilled, happy life where we enjoy doing not only the things we need to do, but also the activities and pastimes we want to do.

However, because most people fail to plan properly for their older years, they often deny themselves the quality lifestyle they have dreamed about. It’s odd really because throughout their lives most people do think ahead. We have a plan for all the things we want to do, such as jobs and career, relationships, buying a home or an apartment, having children, travelling – we leave very little to chance – but when it comes to getting older, for some reason we fail to plan. Not surprisingly, most Australians want to age in place and stay in their homes. Sometimes because of health challenges this just isn’t possible, but for most people this can be an achievable goal. The best way to do this is by having a plan.

The Guide to Living Well, created by Apia and Five Good Friends, is an invaluable resource that will show you how to develop your essential plan for growing older successfully.

Don’t worry if you might sometimes need a helping hand with housework, transport or supermarket shopping – there’s nothing wrong with that – and, as you will learn when you read The Guide to Living Well, Sydney’s Macquarie University's research shows that home care services can actually help keep people out of aged care facilities. It seems that each additional hour of home care services a person receives each week results in a six per cent reduction of the likelihood of entering residential care.

The Guide to Living Well will fill an important gap in many older people’s knowledge about the many options available to them for ageing well. It includes information from some of Australia’s leading aged care experts about specific issues, from maintaining independence to finance, including how to fund help and care in the home.

It’s never too late to develop your plan for growing older.

The Guide to Living Well is an essential must havefor all older people who want to make the most of their golden years.

Ita Buttrose AO, OBE Five Good Friends Ambassador