What Is Older Americans Month?
Every year in May, Older Americans Month is celebrated. Older Americans Month was founded by Administration for Community Living, a government agency, the aim is to assist older Americans and people with disabilities to live a life of their choosing. They created Older Americans Month to focus on the needs of senior citizens. You can view the website for them at acl.gov.
There you will find information about housing, programs, and stories that highlight senior citizens. There are several links to various other sites, and you can spend several hours investigating information that may be specific to your situation. By the way, this agency defines a senior (or older American) as 65 or older.
Each Year Celebrates a New Theme
This year the theme of Older Americans Month is Age My Way. We hear the term, aging in place a lot. This term means that most seniors want to stay in their homes or the home of a loved one, if it is possible. So aging in place certainly comes under the category of Age My Way.
What Does It Mean To Age My Way?
Although we certainly have no choice over the fact that we are aging, we do have a choice of how we respond to the reality of aging. We have the choice to be happy or unhappy, to be grateful or ungrateful. The list is endless.
So there are some things we can’t control, like having arthritis, or worsening eyesight, but we can choose our responses and how we will live with certain situations.
So Aging My Way means we will choose how we want to live our senior years. That’s where the celebration of Older Americans Month can help us. It can assist us to find resources to make our lives the best they can be.
Let’s not forget the fact that this is a proactive approach to life. Don’t expect people to come to your door to offer to make your life better. You must decide what you want and how you will get it.
Ideas To Help You To Age My Way
Hopefully your health allows you some mobility and a level of activity, as these are integral to living a purposeful life. That is not to say that you can not do so if you have health concerns, because you can.
I personally have chronic pain, so my activities have been seriously impacted. But I can do other things to make my life meaningful. Currently that includes yoga, stretches, riding my 3-wheeler, and writing articles to help other seniors! What health issues do you have? What are you doing about them? How are you adjusting?
Okay, so once you have determined what you are still able to do, then do all you can to make it happen.
Here are suggestions from the internet that experts say will help you to live your best senior life.
Getting some sort of exercise appears at the top of the list to live a fulfilling life. Even if you are in a wheelchair, it is recommended for you to move your arms and upper body. I can’t swim and work out as I did before I became a chronic pain sufferer. But I can do something.
So can you. Choose something you enjoy. That way it won’t be a chore, but rather something you look forward to.
Exercise increases our endorphins, which can positively affect our emotional and mental state. So get moving and gain the benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.
You don’t have to be Ms. Popularity, but spending time with others also adds to your emotional well being. Seniors are notoriously lonely, and therefore we must make an effort to be with others. We were made to be social beings.
If you are fortunate, like me, to have a few close friends, then do your best to stay in touch with them. Nurture those relationships; don’t wait for them to reach out. You should reach out.
Do all you can to stay engaged with the world. Technology has been a wonderful tool to open the world to all of us. But you don’t have to use technology to stay on the learning curve. Play games that stimulate your mind, or do puzzles. That list is pretty endless also.
Eat Nutritious Food
It is never too late to start eating well. My 80+ year old friend has learned to manage his type-2 diabetes by eating better. And he just started this in the last few years. In fact he’s learning to cook new things as well. And he is legally blind! If anyone has an excuse to not try new things, he does. But he doesn’t let his limitations stop him! Truly inspiring!
What is a healthy diet for seniors? Well, I wrote an article about that! Read it here.
We all have interests. Use those interests to find an organization where you can give your time. This is a win-win situation. You benefit and so does the agency. And it makes your life have more purpose and satisfaction.
Here’s some other information about how to Age My Way
Resources To Assist You
One of the major concerns for seniors is health and health insurance. Add to this topic medication management, specialists, and for many, transportation to see your healthcare provider. Your first step to learn more about healthcare should be your Social Security office. There you can learn about Medicare (once you are 62).
This is a health program that some Medicare plans cover. It provides online courses to help you be more active. You can check your eligibility with this link to their site.
Just about every community has a senior center or a community center that provides programs for seniors. Here you can socialize, take a class, make new friends, and in some cases have a free meal. Search by your community name and add the words community center.
Have I helped you understand what it means to celebrate Older Americans Month? And how to Age My Way? If not, leave a question below. I’ll do my best to answer.
And if you have other ideas of how to Age My Way, please leave them here. This is hopefully a community that helps others.