• Susan L.

Are you afraid of growing old?

As we grow older, most of us will experience some major life changes. They may include retirement, physical changes, losing loved ones, or changing residence. No matter how old we are, coping with life changes is never easy!

Instead of looking forward to our golden years, aging can bring fear and anxiety for many of us. If you are caring for an elderly loved one, it may have you thinking about your own future. Fears of losing your spouse or even your mind, may also bother you.

Before you go worrying yourself sick, lets put some things into perspective. Here are some facts:

  • Some diseases are certainly more common than others, but that does not mean you will experience poor health or become disabled.

  • There are plenty of older adults that are actually in better health than many younger people.

  • Taking care of yourself now, can help prevent illness or injury later in life. Eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and managing stress can significantly reduce the risk of poor health.

  • As we grow older, it is quite normal to experience age-related changes in memory. Staying creative and keeping your brain active can help prevent cognitive decline. The ability to learn new things and train your brain is beneficial at any age!

Maintaining a social network is important. As we age, staying connected becomes even more of a challenge due to illness, retirement, or moving farther away from family and friends. There are many things you can do to be with other people. Get to know your neighbors, look up an old friend, take a class, or give back to the community by doing volunteer work. This is a good way to make new friends and gives your life purpose and meaning!

There will always be periods of stress and joy in our lives. Learn to keep things in perspective, and practice gratitude for all of life's blessings! When we stop taking things for granted and focus on what we are grateful for, life becomes more meaningful and precious. There are so many things in life that are beyond our control; learn to accept the things you cannot change.

When we use coping strategies for facing life's problems, we suddenly have more control over our lives, and have a better chance of experiencing happiness and peace. You can always choose your reaction to your problems and face them with dignity, and maybe even a sense of humor!

Remember that growing older does not guarantee that you will never experience illness, discomfort, or disability. It is true that aging will bring about many physical changes, but many of them can be avoided or drastically reduced by simply taking proper care of ourselves. No matter your age or physical condition, it is never too late to start! Caring for yourself has enormous benefits that can help boost the immune system, sharpen the mind, reduce your risk of injury, increase energy, and help manage health problems.

"Do not regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."

Wishing you all a blessed week!