Developing a New Attitude About Aging
A quick guide to creating a whole new perception of who we are, what we are capable of, and what we can contribute to society. Aging isn’t easy. Our attitudes color everything from personality to longevity. Our attitudes affect how healthy or not so healthy we will be. An attitude adjustment isn’t as difficult as you might think.
Considering New Living Arrangements
Few subjects are more likely to stir up your emotions than where and how you should live. Even if you’re managing quite well at the moment, there is no way to know what the future holds. It pays to prepare for possible changes in your health and abilities as time passes. Let go of expectations and go with the flow. Don’t swim against the current.
Getting Serious About Safety
Anyone can slip on ice, miss a step, trip over an unseen wire, or simply lose their balance. And that’s just outside. Indoors, there are hidden hazards everywhere. But for every potential danger there are numerous preventive actions you can take to keep yourself safe. Think about what it would take to accident-proof your surroundings. Then, just do it!
Turning In Your Car Keys
When is the right time to stop driving? Do an honest self-check. Are your vision, reflexes, flexibility, and hearing beginning to deteriorate? Are you getting traffic tickets and warnings? Have you had accidents (major or minor)? Do your children express concern about your driving? If you are a danger to yourself and others, you know you should not be on the road.
Human beings age, and as we do, inevitable changes take place in our bodies. Some of these changes are out of our control, but we do have the power to slow down or even prevent them by making a few sensible alterations to our lifestyle. Aging is inevitable. Feeling old, looking old, acting old is not. Aging with grace is a do-it-yourself project. You are in control.
Deciding to Retire
If and when to retire is one of the biggest decisions you will ever face. Whenever you do it, you will still have many years left to live. If your company doesn’t have a mandatory retirement age and your doctor hasn’t told you it’s time to stop working, it’s entirely up to you. Here’s a fool-proof self-test: Have you had enough? Do you have enough? Will you have enough (to keep you busy)?
Talking to Your Adult Children
There is no easy way to deal with the major life changes, especially as you are nearing the end. First, you must come to grips with your own mortality. If you can’t accept the idea of dying, you can’t expect your children to. Second, use your communication skills to express your feelings. Talk to your children about what you need from them, and remember that they, too, are grieving.
Figuring Out Your Finances
Like so many people in your age group, you may find yourself staring at the end of your work life before you were even prepared to think about your financial situation. If you are approaching sixty-five and don’t have sufficient savings to retire full-time, you may need to continue working and reduce your standard of living. Do your research, keep an open mind, and you may find that you have options.
Building Your Support System
If you have found that the older you get, the harder it is to make new friends, you are not alone. If you spent the COVID year at home, you know how important friends are. But did you know that having strong social bonds will help you live longer? Everything worth doing takes effort. And nothing is worthier of that effort than making nurturing your friendships and building a support network.
Facing End-of-Life Choices
Don’t wait until you are terminally ill before you confront end-of-life decisions and plans. Preparation means taking the necessary steps to let those who are close to you know what you hope for in your final days. The essential documents you will need are a will, advanced directives or living will, a durable power of attorney for healthcare, and your preferences about your funeral and/or memorial service.