Successful Aging

Home and HealthyUncategorized

Everyone wants to “age successfully” but what does that look like? For most retired adults, it means maintaining good physical and mental health, financial security, maintaining meaningful relationships and remaining independent.
Aging is highly impacted by genetics, environment, lifestyle choices and attitude. We may not be able to do much about our genetics, but we have a lot of influence over everything else!
ENVIRONMENT: Research shows that not only do older adults want to be as independent as possible but it is beneficial for mental and physical health to maintain that independence! Both retirement communities and at- home living promote independence.
Living at home may mean downsizing. When looking to downsize consider first floor living options, transportation, outdoor scenery and neighborly communities. Bringing familiar treasures, furniture, and pictures helps minimize stress in adjusting to a new environment and affirms the life we have already lived and enjoyed.
Should you decide to stay in your current home, the whole family can work together to plan budgets and determine needs for remaining safe and independent as long as possible. In the beginning, one may only need trusted help with property maintenance: outdoor lawn care,painting, railings on walkways etc. But family should also plan for progression of care: first floor living accommodations, handicap bars in bathroom and shower, transportation, and possibly in-home health care.
LIFESTYLE CHOICES: It is never too late to change or to learn something new! Exercise: Take classes at a community center, walk, take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot. Remaining active slows the effects of aging and reduces risk of chronic disease by slowing the decrease of muscle and bone mass.
Diet: A healthy diet, one rich in vitamins and minerals, supports physical and mental health—experiment with new recipes, buy different vegetables and fruits, invite friends or family to share in mealtimes.
Relationships: Repairing broken relationships brings tremendous healing to our hearts, minds and bodies! Gathering photos and their stories honor those with whom we have shared life, allows us to mourn those we have loved and lost and can bring great joy to our day.
Volunteer: Whether writing notes of encouragement, sorting food/clothing, mentoring youth, volunteering keeps us moving and engaged, and instills a sense of purpose and fulfillment!
Learn Something New: Take a class, learn a new game, enjoy new technology, travel to new places, read, start a new hobby, listen or attend lectures, get involved in politics…challenge your mind!
ATTITUDE: Loss of loved ones and decreased physical and mental agility are real adjustments in aging, BUT attitude has a lot to do with adapting to those trials. Chose to celebrate the richness and reward of a life well lived, the wisdom and grace experienced along the way. Share your story, relax and enjoy relationships and greet each new day with a positive attitude of hope and gratitude.