Ageism is defined as a prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age. This is a prevailing problem that is seen across the nation, where the elderly are often depicted as weak, unattractive, senile, and financially distressed, while the obsession with youth continues to grow exponentially. As a culture that once revered the elderly for their great knowledge, wisdom, and respect, it is disheartening to see such a drastic shift in the stereotypes portrayed by the mainstream media today. As a result, we strive to look younger, feel younger, and act younger, despite naturally growing older with each passing day.
Ageism can be blatant, but in most cases it is subtle and unintentional. Although you can not control ageist behavior as a whole, you can decide to take a stand against internalized ageism, which is when a person internalizes ageist beliefs and applies them to themselves. You can make the intentional decision to combat ageism by following these tips, allowing you to age gracefully in all areas of life instead of fighting the aging process.
Tips for Aging Gracefully
– Choosing a healthy, nutritious diet has countless benefits which are more than just skin deep. Well-balanced meals can increase both your longevity and your immune system. Properly nourishing your body strengthens your bones, your muscles, and your digestive system, helping to prevent diseases such as high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers. Furthermore, a nutritious diet keeps your skin, teeth, and eyes healthy. To ensure that you’re getting the right mix of vitamins and nutrients, make sure your diet consists of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
– Older adults are more susceptible to dehydration because the body composition changes with age, resulting in less water in their bodies. Drinking water throughout the day can help prevent dehydration in individuals 65 and older. Waiting until you are thirsty to consume water can already be an indicator of early dehydration. Other signs include fatigue, weakness, headaches, cramps, and dizziness. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, which promote water loss through urine, and should be avoided or consumed in moderation.
– Strive to be cheerful and lively in your day-to-day demeanor. A positive attitude towards aging, and life in general, is extremely crucial for your mental and physical health. According to a Harvard study, those who acknowledge the aging process and choose to approach it with a positive outlook are at a lower risk for disease and depression, experience better cognitive function, are more likely to engage in physical activity, and are less likely to have trouble sleeping. They also feel a greater sense of purpose as they grow older.
– Regular physical activity is just as important for your overall well-being as a well-balanced diet. Decreased risk of diseases, improved cognitive function and mood, and increased strength, balance, and energy are all benefits experienced by individuals, ages 65 and up, who remain active.
– Creating and maintaining healthy social connections greatly affects your mental well-being as you age. Individuals who find new hobbies, engage in social circles, volunteer, join clubs, and partake in other interactions have better self-esteem, sense of belonging, and sense of purpose than their peers who stay isolated and to themselves. Additionally, they’re likely to experience fewer health problems and increased cognitive function. The secret to living longer may even lie in making meaningful connections!
– The natural effects of aging can sometimes make it difficult for seniors to live independently. While seniors are often able to live on their own and perform day to day tasks, sometimes assistance is needed as the aging process causes physical or mental limitations. Senior Personal & Companion Care allows individuals to maintain their sense of independence while receiving assistance with meal preparation, light housekeeping, and transportation. It is important for seniors to maintain their own care, so working together to allow seniors to live independently as long as possible is the main goal.
– “Life is short, so make it sweet.” With years of wisdom and experience under your belt, you can see just how much truth this simple saying carries with it. Now is the time to live in the moment; appreciate each and every minute of your day and live in the present. Don’t take life too seriously; find humor in each day and laugh often. Even when life throws you curveballs, take yourself lightly. Seek joy and spread joy. Don’t hold grudges; forgive others and forgive yourself for things of the past. Take the trip. Make the phone call. Love big and believe in something bigger than yourself.