September is Healthy Aging Month. Seniors and Boomers all around the country are celebrating the occasion by making healthy choices to align their lifestyles with their goals of remaining healthy as they age.
History of September is Healthy Aging Month
September is Healthy Aging Month was created by Carolyn Worthington through the website Healthy Aging over fifteen years ago. Its purpose was to highlight attention across the country on the issue of growing old gracefully with wellness and enjoyment. The idea is to jump-start seniors and those who love them into making proactive changes in their lifestyles in order to reach and maintain healthy living.
Areas to Focus on for Healthy Aging Month
Mental and Emotional: Keep the mind active. Don’t fall into a habit of “zoning out” day after day. Play video and learning games with a grandchild, or even alone. It will keep those neurons buzzing. Enjoy board games like checkers or chess. Also, stay aware of emotions. Attend to built-up feelings and find outlets, even journaling, to vent negative feelings and keep calmness in life. Make a concerted effort to smile more often, when getting up in the morning, when looking in the mirror, and when around other people. It will make life better and can improve general health.
Bodily: There are a number of simple things to do which help seniors and boomers with physical health. Get that yearly physical. Follow up on test recommended by the physician. Walking is one of the best, cheapest, yet effective weight-bearing exercises. For music lovers, dance, or even enjoy conducting music to a favorite song for the upper arm strength. Join the senior program at the local Y or fitness club. Silver Sneakers provides a free fitness membership for people with certain insurance programs. In addition, treat food as fuel for life by enjoying it but remembering that some foods have consequences.
Organizational: Older adults need to regularly update the “stuff” they carry along with them through life. For seniors who don’t attend to this task, there is the risk of growing stacks of things impeding their calm enjoyment of their living space as well as safety issues. Be proactive and take something out of the home on the first week of each new month!
Social: Bonding is often the vital difference between feeling lonely and feeling cherished. Seniors may want to affiliate with a group and develop a history with them. Invest in it, and they will be there when needed. Many seniors have a church or community center nearby where like-minded people can be found. Intergenerational relationships can be uplifting to older adults. Also look at options for interest groups like music, hobbies, politics, and helping the environment.
Financial: Designate one day a week to get in touch with the budget. Don’t spend without planning. The old practice of keeping the credit card in the freezer can pay off by providing a cooling down period before making major purchases, or even a number of minor purchases which can cripple one’s finances. Consider putting the regular bills on the bank account with automatic deductions, and using cash for additional spending. Using cash helps people be more aware that it is diminishing, which can affect spending decisions.
Living in Gratefulness: The more older adults focus on what they still have rather than what they have lost, the healthier their lifestyle can be. No doubt seniors lose much as they age such as friends to illness or death, accumulation of life’s griefs which affect everyone as the years pass, changes due to their moving or family members being far away, and even their own health issues. Yet once these issues have been dealt with initially, it may be time to start moving on into being thankful for what is left. Enjoy nature and stay aware of life’s blessings.
September is Healthy Aging Month. Take this opportunity to increase awareness of ways to increase and maintain health as aging occurs. Be proactive in dealing with physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial issues. Study about Blue Zones and consider what they have to offer a senior’s current lifestyle. Make little changes which improve life, especially in the area of organization. Smile while remembering that the sun did come again today, and healthy aging is a real possibility.