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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on September 10th, 2015

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Healthy Aging Month: Finding the Good in Growing Old

Aging & Caregiving

WiHas growing old become the dark hovering cloud above us? Admittedly, there are some challenges and struggles that come with the aging process. However, there are plenty of oft-neglected good aspects, too.

Considering an abundance of research indicating the benefits of positive thinking in promoting not just ongoing health but also longevity, September’s Healthy Aging Month offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate seniority.

Let’s shine the light on this annual observance, along with counting down a few of our favorite reasons why getting older has more to offer than most people realize.

What is Healthy Aging Month?

Created by Healthy Aging Magazine, this annual health observance seeks to raise awareness about the upsides of aging. Having trouble finding these age-related advantages? Consider the research, which points to everything from a greater sense of fulfillment to enhanced creativity!

Healthy Aging Month also offers the opportunity to check in with your aging loved one’s well-being -- physical, mental, social and financial -- and to make any adjustments. The overriding premise within Healthy Aging Month? “It’s never too late to ‘reinvent’ yourself.”

Why Healthy Aging Month Matters

With the Baby Boomer generation quickly aging into retirement -- there were 76.4 million Baby Boomers as of April 2014, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau -- the health and wellbeing of seniors is more critical than ever.  With so many people entering this stage of life, it’s particularly important to help them stay active and to take control of their own health in order to enjoy life well into their golden years.

5 Tips for Healthy Aging

So what can you do to help your aging loved one thrive -- both during Healthy Aging Month and moving forward?

1. Think Positive

Positivity is contagious! Surrounding seniors with positive thoughts, words and actions can help them enjoy more positive attitudes, too. Instead of complaining, focus on the positives of life, and encourage your aging loved one to do the same.

2. Get Moving

The sedentary lifestyle isn’t just bad for your body, it’s bad for your soul.  Encourage your loved one to get up and moving. Even walking makes a significant difference.

3. Smile More

Research shows that frequent smiling is linked with greater feelings of happiness. Help your aging loved one smile more often by sharing funny stories, watching your favorite comedy programs together, or remembering silly memories.

4. Be Social

Feelings of loneliness can detract from health and wellness. Encourage your loved one to regularly visit with friends and family members, and to participate in social activities.

5. Take Charge

Many seniors let their health slide. If your loved one is due for an annual physical or behind on important health screenings, make an appointment with his physician.

An abundance of research suggests the benefits of “pro-aging” thinking. Help your aging loved one enjoy everything from better heart health to improved cognitive function by embracing Healthy Aging Month this September.

Key Takeaways

  • Healthy Aging Month offers seniors and caregivers the opportunity to focus on the positive aspects of aging.

  • As Baby Boomers come into retirement age, the importance of helping seniors maintain their independence and self-worth is more important than ever.

  • Caregivers can help their loved ones take some simple steps to enjoy healthier, happier aging.

 
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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.