We’ve seen it all. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but when it comes to aging we have seen a lot. Our team has worked with a wide array of people in different situations with varying family backgrounds, health statuses and more. We certainly have seen the wide gap in how prepared people are for getting older. And, therefore, our clients’ experiences of aging vary accordingly.
So, our team will share some specifics on the choices we can all be making today that will make aging easier (and better!). And, though we believe “the sooner the better”, it is never too late to make changes that will make a difference.
An Ounce of Prevention
A 2018 study examined just how a healthy lifestyle in middle age impacts aging. The researchers wanted to understand what factors can influence the quality of aging, in light of longer life expectancies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found that lifestyle factors in middle age have a significant impact on us in later life. Adherence to the Healthy Lifestyle Index (HLI) was positively associated with Healthy Aging (HA), and the likelihood of HA increased with each positive lifestyle behavior.
As we examined in our post, It’s Never Too Late to Get Started with a Healthy Lifestyle, you can benefit from changes at any time. Studies show that quitting smoking provides benefits almost immediately. Various lifestyle modifications can reverse a great deal of damage throughout the body. Check out that post for specific tips and links to articles on what changes will benefit you and how to make them. Also, be sure to take a look at our #1 healthy aging tip that is often overlooked.
Make sure you practice preventative care, getting recommended checkups and screenings. Get your flu shots and other immunizations. These are particularly important as you get older or if you have health issues.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk (and Think) About It
The clients we see who enjoy aging are not afraid to talk about getting older. They don’t tend to avoid problems but face them head on (with grace, and often with a sense of humor). With this attitude, they don’t shy away from talking to the people they need to and making their wishes known. They aren’t caught by surprise because of their denial. Because let’s face it, your denial won’t stop you from aging.
Take some time to think about your ideal picture of aging (with at least a dash of reality). Where do you want to be (i.e. in your own home, retired to a warmer climate, etc.)? What things do you want to do? What is most important to you?
Once you have thought honestly about these things, share them with your loved ones. And, then create a plan to help make them happen.
Take Control of What You Can: Aging Planning
Now, it’s time to take action. We all know we can’t control everything. But, we can be prepared to deal with what comes our way. A few areas to look at include organizing and streamlining your paperwork and finances. We also always recommend everyone get their health records organized. This will make life easier every time you go to your doctor, let alone if you need surgery or face a major illness. Being organized and streamlining your paperwork and processes makes life in general so much easier. As we get older, we accumulate more things (and paperwork, accounts, etc.) so this step goes a long way to making aging easier.
Every adult needs advance directives, so be sure you have yours completed and updated. It is also a good time to meet with your attorney and review your estate plan (will, trusts, etc.).
Our experts have just the tool you need to make this step easier. Grab a free copy of our Comprehensive Aging Wisely checklist. This gives you a step-by-step breakdown of what you need to do at various stages. With this guide, you won’t miss anything or be overwhelmed. Make the choice today, so you can age wisely and well.
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