18 till I die? Why Age is just a number
Oct 25 , 2018
When you get older, nothing much has changed. You are still the same person. The American Psychological Association backs this. Old people largely have the same cognitive and mental capacities, and they can learn new skills, are socially and physically active. But then why do people “FEEL” OLD? Can you do something to avoid it?
Dear Mike: “As a retired Geriatric Care manager, Medication management has been the bane of my existence, and now that I am a senior and fighting the establishment on the meds they are giving and/or are trying to give me, I am beyond frustrated. There is a television ad on our local stations from a large local hospital. In this ad, there is a nurse visiting a senior and doing a med check... On the table for the med check are at least 11 medications with bottles prominently displayed... 11 meds for a senior???? OMG... I am currently fighting doctors over medication dosages etc. for myself for a major heart problem. I tried to follow the initial protocol with one specific medication which made me quite ill... When I tried to tell the nurse who was relaying the message from the doctor, that this was way too strong a dose for me and for me as a senior... She would not hear what I had to say and simply stated "that is what you HAVE to take"... and I thought to myself, no- I don't, but anyway... I tried the initial dose for two days, and then have tapered it down to a minimal dose since them. The medication made me extremely ill, nauseated, dizzy, no appetite and so weak I could hardly move, so I did what I usually have to do when doctors do not listen to me... Adjust the dosage. They do not want to hear what I have to say, and as a retired nurse, specializing in Geriatric care, I know about absorption, etc. in the geriatric patient. The statistics you show do not surprise me a bit. The whole medical system is a total disaster... I had to go out of my current state to seek the care I need. I would love to continue this conversation but cannot do so at the present time... Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your articles, etc.”
~ Elizabeth Kirk, over email
Elizabeth probably belongs to the 60% of Americans who feel younger than their actual age- as Pew Research center findings showed that the older Americans get, the more significant the gap between biological (subjective) and perceived age.
What happens when you grow old?
I'd say- "nothing changes." Before you scoff at me at the irreversibility of aging, and share your concerns about longevity, old age and the health concerns that are associated with it, I stand before you as a live example that just because you have aged, doesn’t mean you have to let go of your healthy, youthful, energetic past. There is no need to resign to the fatalistic notion of aging.
When you get older, nothing much has changed. You are still the same person. The American Psychological Association backs this. Old people largely have the same cognitive and mental capacities. They can learn new skills, are socially and physically active.
You must realize that 78, like 18, is just a number, and aging is nothing but your state of mind, and the result of how you have taken care of your body all through your life.
Aging-Common challenges and concerns
When it comes to aging and longevity, most people have these concerns:
- Appearance- a youthful flow, healthy skin & hair
- Brain Health- Mental agility, sharp mind, excellent memory
- Digestion- A healthy gut and great digestion
- Energy levels- High energy levels, vitality, and vigor throughout the day
- No diseases, reduced risk of infections and age-related ailments
- Mobility- Maintain the same activity levels, walk, exercise and move around
- Emotional health- better mood, feeling happy, upbeat and vibrant
- Pain management- no pains, being pain-free
- Sleep- Getting plenty of deep, restful sleep every night
- Sex- Maintaining the drive and enjoyment of sex and intimacy.
- Sleep: Getting plenty of deep, restful sleep every night.
What do people do to address their aging-related concerns?
Most people, after reaching certain “age” start with their “anti-aging” efforts. The change in the year sometimes is a change in an era for some, and they take steps to ensure that they “stall” if not “stop” the effects of aging. These efforts range from trying anti-aging skin creams, taking supplements, and regular health checkups- some of which weren’t part of their routine till they reached a particular milestone.
Our life is not a bunch of irreversible stages, like a calendar where what’s gone can’t come back. We may have been taught that as we pass through each stage- youth, adulthood, middle age, late middle age, old age- once a phase is complete, we can’t go back doing what we enjoyed doing. There is this general mindset that smells of resignation to the fate and expectations from oneself are adjusted accordingly. Once you cross over from adulthood to middle age, for example, you will have to bear the cross of nearing old age for the rest of your life! A new career in your forties? Your heart can’t take the stress! Dating in your 50s? You must be joking! Trekking? Forget about it with the creaking knee that’s signaling it’s time to slow down!
Why your assumptions about aging are all wrong
The tyranny of expectations that we have tagged to our understanding of youth and age is a terribly constricted way to live our lives.
Our age cannot determine who we are. We are living in a world where we are living longer, healthier lives than our predecessors. The heartening news is that birth rates are falling too. Today there are as many baby boomers as millennial's.
An aging population means what we need to find ways to stay happy, healthy and productive, and maximize whatever chances we get to do so.
What we really need is not age brackets when it comes to describing a population, but a physical and mental health bracket and a happiness quotient in our statistical calculations.
The idea of not being tied to age-related expectations is liberating. Imagine you at 50, planning to move to a new city and seek out a job before Christmas. That’s not a “settled” way of living - right?
The problem is that you have presumed that “to live is to age” and therefore, trying a new exercise form, resuming the ballet class that you left 30 years ago as a teenager to work in an office or take care of your family, are all whimsical ideas.
In sashays Greta Pontarelli, now in her late 60s. She took pole dancing at the age of 59 and has landed 5 world championship titles. With a viral YouTube video for Elle, she gives most 25-year-olds a run for their money.
In her words- “People give up on their health and their dreams,”
Given a choice, every one of you would want to stay active and lead a healthy, happy life. But that choice is no one’s to give to you! The decision is only yours to make, for your own sake!
Feeling young is the key to "being Young."
Age is all in your mind!
Research from Trinity College Dublin has shown that negative attitudes toward aging can have adverse effects on our cognitive and physical health. In other words, you are only as old as you feel!
People who feel younger become more conscientious, suffer from fewer neuroses, and are more open to new experiences in life. What we need today is to encourage every generation to learn new things, to feel beautiful, to lead a wholesome, healthy life based on a healthy lifestyle. Only a healthy mind can think of the myriad of possibilities which are considered to be the sole prerogative of the young.
If we could normalize taking care of our health, follow simple rules like practicing breathing exercises, eating a healthy diet, and focus on nutritional supplements to cure ailments instead of popping pills that only manage symptoms, we could lead an entire population into believing that a healthy, sustainable, disease-free and highest quality of life is possible for every human being.
If we could all focus on feeling young instead of looking young, there will be no fear of aging at least not in the sense that stops us from exploring our immense untapped potential.
By practicing simple techniques and exercises, and supplementing them with breakthrough ideas like Oxygen Therapy™, we can easily make sure that we answer our second, even third and more calling in one single life. The growing circle of marathoners well into their 60s, elderly taking up new career options and discovering their hidden potential and doing well is a testimony to the fact, that age is nothing but a state of mind.
All you need is a mindset of an 18-year-old! Why settle for less when you can have everything and then some more of your life?