Mid-life issues

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 December, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 December, 1995, 12:00am

A NEW newsletter soon to be launched in Hong Kong, In the Middle, is about just that: women in the middle of their lives, caught between their personal lives and careers or in the process of watching their children leave home.

And the women behind the venture say it is time those issues were addressed - along with much more tangible and inevitable ones like coping with the potential trauma of menopause, enhancing health and well-being and 'growing old gracefully'.

In the Middle, which launches later this month, will start off as a quarterly newsletter directed at women between the ages of 35 and 60, and is intended to 'deal with issues, both physical and emotional . . . in these years'.

'We found that there was a lack of information on the issues that relate to women in that age bracket and in that part of their lives,' said Elaine Fine, a former real estate dealer who has helped spearhead the project.

Ms Fine teamed up with nurse Mary Nissen, dietitian Kathie Nelson, personal trainer Briege Farrelly and psychologist Lesley Lewis to reach out to other mid-life women as they would invariably have shared the same experiences.

'It is around their mid-thirties that women start to feel like they have arrived at middle age,' said Ms Fine.

'There are lots of emotional and physical issues they have to deal with; losing their youth, keeping in shape, being healthy, especially after they have had children.' The newsletter will reprint excerpts of articles from a number of sources as well as include original, locally-researched work, and may be bilingual soon.

The group will also organise forums where women can meet with medical specialists and other professionals to discuss topics of interest: the first one will be on breast health and this will be followed up by sessions on pre-menstrual syndrome, women and heart disease and osteoporosis.

But the organisers say there are several areas that will be covered in the newsletters as well as in the talk sessions that could be very important to women in Hong Kong.

'We've seen 'empty-nesters' - women whose children have grown up and left home, whose husbands are always travelling and who feel alone for the first time. Or those who are still bringing children up but who feel guilty about wanting a career.

'All this can often force a woman to let her health fall by the wayside,' said Ms Fine.

Her children recently left home, placing her in 'a whole different stage of life because my primary role had changed'.

Ms Farrelly said the most important aspect of middle age was 'maintaining health and to look forward to the next stage of life, not to have any regrets'.

Annual subscriptions to In the Middle will be $200 a year to start, followed by $300 next year. Inquiries can be faxed to 2813-4721