Aging? 4 Ways To Enjoy Life as You Get Older

Did you know that older Americans have an entire month devoted to them? Every May is Older Americans Month (OAM)! This recognition event began in 1963 when only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. Today—hold onto your hat!—more than 65 million Americans are age 65 and older. What’s more, the fastest-growing age group in the U.S. is people over 85.

Yes, our society certainly is aging. And OAM is a time for us to honor and acknowledge the contributions and achievements of older Americans. This year’s theme, “Aging Unbound,” encourages older people to explore a wide range of aging experiences and promotes the importance of enjoying independence and fulfillment.

The Administration for Community Living, which oversees OAM, suggests these ways that anyone (after all, we are all aging) can participate in the spirit of “Aging Unbound”:

  1. Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy and energy.
  1. Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, classes and creative activities.
  1. Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.
  1. Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends and community members.

Aging Is Changing

Older Americans Month is also a great time for all of us to drop ideas about aging that no longer reflect reality. Overall, while there is room for improvement, American seniors are generally fitter today than a generation ago. This may be due to the increased awareness of the importance of physical activity, greater access to exercise options, and improvements in medical technology and treatment.

Another factor that sets today’s older people apart from other generations is that many are choosing to work well into their “retirement” years. Some do it by choice, others by necessity. Whatever the reason, working keeps us connected to people and keeps our brains active and challenged.

Whether you’re 35 or 85, there are plenty of ways to enjoy life. Let Older Americans Month inspire you!

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