He tries to reverse the march of time by wearing leather and dallying with a younger woman.
Meanwhile, his wife over-prepares for old age by getting a power lift bed and handrails installed throughout the house. One denies, the other embraces.
Most of us will land somewhere in between, learning to adapt as advancing years throw us one curve ball after another. Aches and pains, loss, empty nests, memory lapses… getting old is certainly not for sissies, as they say.
All this got me thinking about the robust, contented and productive seniors I’ve met over the years in my practice.
What they have in common are four attributes that I think we should all try to embrace as we age:
1. Attitude: Happy seniors appreciate this phase of their life. They see it as a time to relax and enjoy because seniors are living longer and healthier than ever before. We can pursue a whole new career, hobby or interest. Now we finally have time for ourselves and we’re seizing the day!
2. Health: We take better care of our health than ever before. There’s an abundance of information at hand: courses at local senior centers, books, magazines, mental health counselors and online groups to turn to for support and comradery. The AARP has a free nursing phone line available 24-7 to answer your health questions: 1-888-543-5630
3. Activity: Seniors who are physically active and limber tend to thrive. Regular walking, swimming, or volunteering lubricates the joints and the mind.
4. Connection: Healthy seniors are engaged with their community. They have friends they can confide in and laugh with. Humor is the best medicine, regardless of age.
I find these 4 points to be key to healthy, happy aging. What about you? What are you doing to celebrate being an older adult? I invite your comments.