Aging is a normal process, but for many individuals, it brings with it a number of negative connotations. Many people start to view age as a problem: a time when their contribution to society decreases along with their health and they're no longer able to enjoy the same level of physical capability they once did. The reality, however, is that the aging population still has the potential to offer immense creativity, wisdom, and skills that can have immense benefit both to their own lives and to those around them. Redefining the way aging is viewed to create a positive transition will help many individuals enter their silver years with grace.
A Sense of Purpose
The kids are grown and out of the house, often raising children of their own. For some seniors, great-grandchildren have even entered the picture. While these are certainly enjoyable circumstances in life, it can also bring with it a loss of purpose--especially for individuals who dedicated their lives to raising their own children. Adding a sense of purpose to life can add greater enjoyment and peace as well as extending seniors' lifespans significantly. Purpose can include a wide range of things: reading with young children who are still developing those critical skills; tutoring; offering wisdom and advice to young entrepreneurs entering the senior's previous job field; working with their hands to create extraordinary crafts; writing; and more.
Creativity doesn't disappear along with the body's physical health--and in many cases, the decreased demands of the senior years, when retirement frees up many of the hours left in the day, can offer seniors incredible potential to create as never before. Whether their minds fly free behind a keyboard, they're interested in crocheting or knitting, or they've developed a new interest in art, seniors who engage in creative practices can increase their physical health, develop improved relationships with the individuals engaged in those pursuits with them, and bolster problem-solving skills and other mental capacity.
Bringing Wisdom to the Table
Aging bodies may no longer be up to the demands of daily work, but that doesn't mean that the accumulated wisdom of years disappears. In many cases, seniors can offer immense wisdom to the younger individuals in their chosen professions, providing them with the information they need to make wiser, more effective decisions about their own careers. Whether it's offering consulting advice for an entire company or simply mentoring a single individual, sharing wisdom can go a long way toward enhancing the later years of a senior's life and offer them immense purpose.
Planning the Aging Process
For many seniors, aging is left to chance. One that critical goal of retirement is reached, they aren't sure what to do with themselves. For this reason, creating an effective plan for aging is an excellent way to ensure that seniors are able to make the most of those later years. A comprehensive plan should include the goals that the senior wishes to reach once they pass retirement age. Many of those goals should be carefully evaluated even after a senior's health deteriorates to the point that they are no longer able to live at home. In many cases, time in a senior living community is the perfect opportunity to focus more fully on creative pursuits.
It's time to redefine the conversation on aging and transform the way many people view the aging process. Throughout those later years, it's possible for many people to continue to have immense sense of purpose, whether through volunteer labor like crocheting hats for newborns or through offering advice and wisdom to individuals in their former career fields. By redefining the topic of aging, it's possible to encourage seniors to continue to provide that value in spite of declining physical health--and a result, to improve their overall health and well-being.