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Six Tips for Aging Gracefully
By Tamar Krebs
Aging may be inevitable, but that doesn’t seem to make it
any the more palatable for the vast majority of western civilization – we fight
it every step of the way. There is, however, another way. It may sound crazy –
and it is most definitely contentious – but how about embracing aging and
accepting it as a welcomed part of your life cycle?
The vast majority of us spend more time planning what to
have for dinner than we do planning for what we will do as we age beyond that
magic goal of retirement.
When you have spent your superannuation lump sum on a couple
of cruises, spoiling your grandchildren and golf memberships, what will you do
when you are no longer able to make it to the 18th hold or pick up
your grandchildren from day care? The subject may be taboo, but planning for
this stage of our life is just as important as planning for retirement. Maybe
you assume you will die in your sleep or that you will be so old you won’t
care. Having worked with thousands of individuals at this stage of life over
the past 20 years, I can assure you, you will care.
Exercise your brain
You have made it to the pinnacle of your career; you are the
wisest and most experienced person in your organization, and what do you do?
You retire. Don’t do it! Stay involved! You are a huge asset to the business –
keep up-to-date with industry trends and technology and move into a part-time
mentor or consultant role. Once you retire, you will be looking for things to
do. By mentoring or consulting you will have the best of both worlds. You may
even enjoy it!
Exercise your social
One of the biggest diseases of aging is becoming irrelevant.
It is essential that you build a network around you of like-minded people. Join
any club, non-profit organization or community group that you can be involved
in, and build those friendships. Humans are social creatures, and the need to
be social does not dissipate with age.
Exercise your jaw
The old adage of “you are what you eat” is so very true as
you age. You need to keep that brain hydrated, so no matter how dull a glass of
water may seem, have one and then treat yourself to another. Try and reduce
your hot chip habit – a 209 Cambridge University study found that high-fat dies
made rats slower AND dumber. Sadly, sger is also in the “best avoided” camp.
Instead, chomp your way through a diet consisting of wholefoods – plenty of
fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, nuts, oily fish, blueberries, tomatoes,
eggs, healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocado, sage, broccoli and pumpkin
seeds have all been found to boos brain health and memory.
Exercise your inner
Hoarding is officially bad for your aging health. As you
clutter your environment, you are creating more obstacles to navigate and
potential hazards that might cause you to trip. Try and hang your favourite rug
on the wall, as opposed to displaying it on the floor, or look at implanting
soft flooring within your floorboards so that there are no exposed edges.
Research shows that the number one place where there is a
risk of falling is the bathroom. These falls often lead to hip fractures and
head injuries. Help prevent potential falls by installing hand rails, hobless
showers and slip resistant flooring. You might even want to consider an
emergency call bell system.
Lighting is an interior designer’s favourite friend, and it
should also be yours. However, relying solely on the romantic dim glow of a
wall light will not be practical as you grow older. As you age, your eyesight
will deteriorate and you will need better lighting to navigate your home,
particularly any stairs.
Having the last word
Aging is both inevitable and normal. Plan for aging with
enthusiasm and this will enable you to make the most out of your final years,
without being a burden to your family.
“Do not regret getting older. It’s a privilege denied to many.”
About the author
Tamar Krebs is the founder and CEO of Group Homes Australia.
She has worked in the aged and dementia care industry for 18 years, both in
Australia and internationally. She is recognizsed as a specialist in both
Behaviour Management and Aged Care, and offers consultancies to various aged
Article source: Rotary
Down Under Dec-Jan 2016-2017
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