Aging Gracefully Then and Now: How Getting Older Got Reinvented

At one time ‘aging gracefully’ meant that you accept getting older by trying not to look or act younger than you are. But that implies that age alone limits how you should live your life. As if at a certain age rocking chairs, frozen dinners and days spent watching TV are a given. As if – exactly! While yes, getting older is a given, the concept of ‘aging gracefully’ is changing because we now know that how old we look and feel is relative to our lifestyle. And that one focused on connection, staying active, eating well and living with purpose can not only improve overall wellness, but also help you make the most of life. Here’s how.

Aging Gracefully Through Wellness

Advances in medicine mean we’re living longer than ever which is wonderful, but it also makes wellness more important than ever. As such, ‘aging gracefully’ becomes more about healthy aging. In fact, the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) has defined seven dimensions of wellness that contribute to healthy aging: emotional, intellectual, physical, vocational, social, spiritual and environmental.

Tips to Age Gracefully Today

It’s easier than you think to put those dimensions of wellness into action to help you age gracefully today. Tips include:

  1. Staying Connected – Maintaining social connections as you age has numerous benefits from better mental health to immunological functioning and even cognitive performance. So, make a point to stay in touch with friends, family, neighbors and peers as often as you can either in-person or virtually.
  2. Staying Active – It’s no secret that being physically active is a key to good health at any age; and it’s never too late to start! The National Institute on Aging recommends about 20 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity seven days a week such as brisk walking or even yard work as well as using hand weights for strength, stretches for flexibility and balance exercises.
  3. Eating Well – This is also important at any age, but warrants even more attention as you get older because your nutritional needs can change and decreased metabolism as well as slower digestion can make it more challenging to maintain the diet you need. The National Institute on Aging can help you plan here as well with sample menus for healthy eating.
  4. Living with Purpose – Beyond giving you something meaningful to do, pursuing passions, finding new ones and having a sense of fulfillment have real health benefits too, including reduced stress, lower blood pressure and lower risk for depression. You could volunteer, learn something new or get back into a hobby that you once loved but didn’t have time for previously.

Senior Living Can Help

We’d like to think it’s even easier – and a lot more fun – to age gracefully in senior living. Our communities are focused on wellness as well with monthly calendars filled with clubs, classes, events and outings along with amenities such as pools, fitness centers, chef-inspired meals and more. In fact, more and more people are moving to senior living while they are completely healthy specifically for the lifestyle and the convenience it offers!

For more information, download our Guide to Aging Gracefully or contact Friendship today to schedule a tour by calling 540.385.8720.

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Friendship North Campus

367 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012

540.385.8720

Friendship South Campus

5647 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24018

540.777.8300