Â Helping Skokie Seniors with Aging Gracefully
Recently, I was speaking to some of Skokie seniors about how they aged gracefully. While many look at age as a just a number, these senior had the right attitude and outlook on aging that I believe many in our community can benefit learning more.
Here is what they believe.
Be active every day. One of the best ways to slow down the aging process is to stay active. Every day go out and do something.
Take Kirt Spradlin. After he successfully battled prostate cancer, he started mountain climbing. Now at “79 and a half,â€ he climbed Mount Whitney and Kilimanjaro as well as made it to Mount Everest’s base camp.
Along with his wife Donna, the couple even went on a weeklong backpacking trip by themselves in the wilderness.
While no one is saying you have to climb Mount Everest, having a hobby where you stay active is a strong part of making the most out of life.
Keep your brain active. Once you keep your body active, then you need to keep your mind active. Both are vital parts to help against the anti-aging process.
To help you do this work on synthesizing all of the information you receive in your daily life. On a daily basis we consume 34 Gigabytes of information per day.
With so much information, we must find ways to synthesize that information. This is why experts recommend synthesizing the information you receive into a few power-packed big ideas.
By doing so, you enhance your brain health across your lifespan, by strengthening the connections in your brain. The more you can condense everything into these big ideas, the more connections you actively make in your brain to store this information.
Stay Connected. One of the worst things that can happen to someone once they retire is to be cut off from their social network. At work, you are part of a structure, and that allows you to make and maintain friendships.
However, when we retire we voluntarily give up that social structure without have anything to replace it with another.
It is vital for seniors to create their new networks where they can stay connected.
This is why Pew Research Centerâ€™s Internet & American Life Project stated the 74-plus demographic is the fastest-growing group across Web-based social networks. Many assisted living communities now offer assistance with social networking for their seniors to stay connected.
Accept change. Illinois psychologist Mark Frazier specializes in work with seniors. He notes, “If you live until you’re 95 years old, you’re probably not going to be living alone in a beautiful apartment and driving your car to the grocery store and picking up your dry cleaning and walking a mile to the park. But if you know that ahead of time, it’s much easier to manage it.â€
Aging can be a challenging process. That is why only the strong make it to old age. They are the ones who can benefit from the wisdom of all their years on this planet.
However, with great challenges, you must be adaptable to circumstances. Otherwise, an inflexibility can be as dangerous as any disease.
Understand that your life might change at a certain point. If you do not, and have unrealistic expectations of age, you might be hurting your ability to age.
We all want to age gracefully. While it is not always possible, with new advancements in medicine and our understanding of aging it is becoming more and more likely every year.
That is why it is so important to go out there and live life to its fullest. By doing so, you are aging gracefully.
What is your secret to aging gracefully? Let us know in the comment section below.