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Golden Advice for the Golden Years

November 30, 2017

The Benefits of Aging

By: Bette Young

There are most definitely some benefits to aging. Being a woman in my eighties, I have realized a number of these benefits and have continued to be alert to new opportunities for growth. Here are a few observations I would like to share with you:

Aging Opportunities

  • Ward-off loneliness: As you age, you find many of your friends move away or they pass. It is important to continue to make new friends: Expand your social circles through a religious congregation, neighborhood, interest groups, lectures, or exercise groups. Moving from your homes to a retirement community often feels like a loss of autonomy. In truth, it provides a myriad of opportunities for friendships, learning, and growth.
  • Don't let your health determine your happiness: Let's face it, getting older may mean that your health will decline. We are very fortunate to have Medicare and many options for healthcare. Develop a strong relationship with your primary care provider and show up to your appointments with questions, records, and logs to facilitate good care. Try not to discuss your health all the time. Keep active and moving!
  • Share your skills: Aging brings a change in lifestyle that can contribute to depression. There is always someone who could benefit from the skills that you have acquired over a lifetime. Being compassionate toward others results in mutual benefits. Assess, value, and share your skills.
  • Open communication: Families often become closer and want to help with your problems. Technology provides an excellent form of communication if distance is a factor. Discuss and share your finances, fears, and end of life decisions with them. This will bring you closer and enable them to be a greater part of your life.
  • Practice gratitude: This simple practice can improve your personality and your attitude about life. Observe your thoughts and words. Share your gratitude with others. If you feel yourself getting grumpy, recognize and participate in the good that is happening around you every moment.
  • Be helpful and cheerful: Whether you are 65 or 105, you can always try to be helpful and cheerful, that will change you and those around you for the better. People will seek-out those with a cheerful spirit and a positive outlook. While senior living can close some doors, it can also bring some new and joyful opportunities for you - relish the change. Remember to SMILE and find something to laugh about!

I believe that our happiness is largely due to the prospective we set for ourselves and our ability to adapt to change. We are blessed to reach our golden years and we are charged to recognize gratitude, continue to grow, and share some joyful noise.

For an interesting resource on staying vital, happy, and sharp, take a look at John Medina's Brain Rules for Aging Well.

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