In September, we observe Healthy Aging Month to give adults 45-plus, caregivers, and families some of the encouragement and information they need, to foster ways of living that help make life longer – and more enjoyable.
And, in many ways, “longer” and “better” are alike. Because most of the top threats to our health are behavior-related, the lifestyles we pursue can be the key to both.
We Are Riding an Upward Wave
With the way life expectancy has been increasing, we’d better be enjoying this life, because the chances are that we’ll be in it for quite a while. For the past 50 years, life expectancy in the U.S. has been rising steadily, with only a few blips. One of those blips was in 1993 when deaths from AIDS, flu, homicides, and accidents rose.
The next blip was just last year. In 2016, the death rate increased by eight persons in every 100,000, and, coincidentally, eight of our longstanding top-10 causes of death were responsible: Heart disease and stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, Alzheimer’s and respiratory ailments, suicides, and accidents all were on the rise. The data are still being analyzed, but opinions are forming around obesity and the rise of opiate addictions as among the causes.
So, It’s No Time for Complacency
We welcome Healthy Aging Month for its ability to explode the myths of aging and give us a more positive paradigm. The September observance helps us see the physical, mental, social, and financial horizons that can be just as creative and exciting as ever before.
In fact, one of the most often overlooked advantages of growing older is the blank canvas many of us get, on which we can paint new visions for our life. The responsibilities we undertake as young people gradually get fulfilled. Because we planned and saved and worked hard for them, they seemed to be natural guideposts. But when those goals are achieved, many of us have difficulty seeing a new purpose.
Adjusting to Freedom
Taking charge of our lives again after the goals of youth have been met can be one of the most rewarding times of all. Maybe the reason we feel unprepared is because traditional stories and paradigms ended sooner. They arose in a world with less longevity!
Making healthier lifestyle choices is primary, because without the years ahead our new canvas won’t mean much. And those same healthy choices can foster a frame of mind that knows what to do with this new freedom.
What’s a Month Without a List?
The ways to celebrate Healthy Aging Month are many, and so are the lists of ways we can enjoy this chapter of life more fully. One of the best is – not surprisingly – organized by Healthy Aging Magazine. Its “Ten Tips for Reinventing Yourself during September” is as interesting for it’s scope – physical, mental, social, and financial – as for its items.
One of these 10 suggestions is to make this the month the time you catch up on your annual physical exam and health screenings. Your peace of mind and awareness of your well being are as important as the results you learn.
Let us help with that. Just call us at 843-815-6468.