Things Necessary For Aging with Dignity and Grace9 minute read

9 minute read

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Updated for December, 2018

The art of graceful, dignified aging begins with affirmation. In a society that is collectively consumed by body image and an attitude of avoidance, aging is a prospect that haunts and strikes fear into the hearts of many. Due in part to media portrayals of aging, some negative notions surrounding older people have resulted in thoughts and processes that dishonor the aging process by transmuting it into a belief that it must be avoided at all costs.

Senior Woman exercising yoga

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It becomes increasingly difficult to form healthy opinions about the aging process when our media systematically promotes youth as the ideal human condition. In some cases, the anti-aging sentiment seen in movies, magazines, TV, and advertisements, older people—women and men alike—clamor to buy the latest and greatest anti-aging creams, potions, lotions and/or line up in to undergo Botox injections, facelifts, and other surgeries promising to make us look younger and more vibrant.

With so many equating aging with a sense of waning or decline, the process of growing older has become unjustly maligned and creates harmful and unnecessary fear as we try to escape the looming prospect of age. Aging is not a bad thing. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Aging is something to be celebrated.

Aging gracefully and with dignity is a belief in the goodness of what you are experiencing

A number of online articles regarding how to age gracefully focus on on makeup, skin care, and various obscure beauty tips. But it’s quite the opposite; aging gracefully has very little to do with skin care and facelifts. Aging gracefully and with dignity is a belief in the goodness of what you are experiencing. It is tender, gentle affirmations that honor your being, the amazing journey of your life thus far, the countless experiences, moments of enlightenment, and beautiful memories that are the essential fabric of your being.

Pay homage to yourself. Honor your age, your journey, and your being. Pay reverence to the life you have lived and, most importantly, believe in the beauty that lies ahead for you. The art of graceful dignified aging truly begins with affirmation. Honoring yourself, eschewing the foolish notions of aging put forth by society, and having conviction in the beauty of your journey will be the point at which you truly learn how to age with dignity, grace, and the kind of beauty that matters.

senior aging

Understand that perception is reality, and your attitude is in fact everything.

Procure the Necessary Healthcare Assistance for Your Medical Needs

Identify the type of health care assistance you may require by taking a critical look at the medical conditions you have and any associated difficulties performing tasks such as activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, cooking, cleaning). At the same time take into consideration any impairments you may have that prohibit you from other tasks such as driving and getting to important medical appointments.

More than likely you will opt for a home health care aide to provide you assistance with tasks while you maintain an independent and self-reliant person within your home. However, some seniors with more debilitating illnesses will be required to move to a nursing home for a more comprehensive level of care.

Attitude, Perception, Acceptance, and Moving Toward Better Things

Understand that perception is reality, and your attitude is in fact everything. The reality is that yes, you are getting older, experiencing various emotional landmines, sometimes you’re scared, and sometimes it just isn’t easy. Aging isn’t without its difficulties, but you have to firmly believe that your condition and level of assisted care does not define you or your life.

Do not get bogged down in negativity, pessimism, and depression. Acknowledge your medical conditions, make the appropriate health care assistance decision for your needs, and start moving forward with an eye on the future as you chart your journey to living the happy and exciting life you want to live while fully accepting and acknowledging your physical limitations. Instead of letting your medical conditions own you, you own them.

Accept their existence, get the care you need, and start thinking about far more interesting things like what your passions are, what excites you, what you would like to experience. You deserve happiness, excitement, and far more. Your life is about to be a lot more awesome—believe it, live it, breathe it.

Aging isn’t without its difficulties, but you have to firmly believe that your condition and level of assisted care does not define you or your life.

Self-Care

Take your medications as prescribed. If you have trouble managing your meds, task your home health aide with this duty so that you can alleviate that concern and focus on more interesting things like what movie you want to watch next or what art project materials you will need to buy for your next creation.

Exercise–fifteen minutes a day will have you feeling invigorated and energetic. Whether it’s a stroll in the park, jumping around in the pool, or practicing karate chops from your wheelchair, make sure you get a bit of heart-pumping exercise every day.

There’s no need to push it; just a bit will work wonders for your overall strength, endurance, and emotional health. Bathe, brush your teeth, and floss. If you need help, your home health aide can assist you in grooming. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask; it’s their job, and you will feel clean, healthy, and ready to take on the world.

Senior Exercise

Personal Development

You know what’s great about being old? You’re not saddled in the office, working behind a sweaty oven, dealing with mean customers, or any other of the unpleasant things that your younger counterparts are dealing with in the workforce. Instead, you’re on the brink of a new chapter in your life, full of interests, passions, and ideas.

Great ideas for personal development include:

  • Computer classes for seniors.
  • Arts and crafts lessons.
  • Cultural festivals.
  • Swimming activities.
  • Senior cruises and vacations.
  • Bus trips to casinos full of your compadres ready to play a little roulette and dine at the ubiquitous all-you-can-eat casino buffets.
  • And so much more….

Summary

  • Address your health issues
  • Implement appropriate health care assistance solutions
  • Cultivate and maintain an attitude of acceptance, positivity, optimism, and excitement
  • Make sure your grooming, bathing, and general health needs are attended to for optimal health
  • Have your home health aide and nursing home assistant help you with the things you need help with, so you can focus on building your exciting life
  • Focus on personal development by thinking about your passions, interests, goals, and various activities you would like to experience

A person with a healthy mindset and an eye on creating a healthy and happy life won’t care about any negative notions of aging. Becoming old is great. It’s a time to be sage, mellow, and relaxed, reveling in your ultimate freedom to construct a graceful and dignified life highlighted by passion, exploration, and self-discovery.

Senior Couple Aging Happy

Life will always present new challenges, but you can navigate right through them because you’re a survivor; wise, resilient, capable, mature, and able to roll right along with any of life’s punches. Today is the first day of your majestic new life. Revel in the sheer joy of mapping out your life to maximize fun, excitement, learning, and self-discovery—and do it right around any medical conditions you may have. Your diagnoses do not define your life; rather they are just one part of your life that you address, reconcile, and strategically navigate to get going on experiencing the breathtakingly exciting endless number of experiences that await you.

Congratulations. You have now learned the art of learning how to age with dignity and grace. Enjoy it in all of its splendor; it’s your hard-earned and well-deserved prize.

Sources:

www.amazon.com/Serenity-Aging-Dignity-Living-Grace/dp/1682613259
www.pinterest.com/clarkplace/aging-and-dying-with-dignity-and-grace/
www.rtc.umn.edu/docs/FI-LaterLifeSupports.pdf