THINGS NECESSARY FOR AGING WITH DIGNITY AND GRACE
The art of graceful, dignified aging begins with affirmation. In a society that is collectively consumed by an attitude of avoidance, aging is a prospect that haunts and strikes fear into the hearts of many. Due in part to media portrayals of aging, the many harmful notions surrounding older people have resulted in an assemblage of rigid conjecture that dishonors the magnificence of the aging process by transmuting it into a belief that it must be avoided at all costs.
It becomes increasingly more difficult to form healthy opinions about the aging process when our media systematically promotes youth as the de facto correct human condition. With the prevalence of anti-aging sentiment seen in movies, magazines, TV, and advertisements, older people—women and men alike—clamor to buy the latest and greatest anti-aging creams, potions, lotions and line up in to undergo Botox injections, facelifts, and other surgeries promising to make us look younger and more vibrant. Truly a national tragedy, our collective view on aging is heartbreaking and ill-informed.
With so many of us equating aging with a sense of waning or decline leading to a fading tunnel of finality, the process of growing older has become unjustly maligned and creates harmful and unnecessary fear, apprehension, and panic as we try to escape the looming prospect of age. Aging is not a bad thing. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Aging is beauty. Aging is respect. Aging is honorable, amazing and heroic. In fact, every day, every week, month, and year you age makes you even more heroic.
You have made it. Through decades of existing in a volatile and unpredictable world fraught with war, crime, disease, tragedy, and injustice; you have made it. You have survived. Many have not. The victims of natural disasters, accidents, and crime, the bearers of incurable disease, the many who fight cancer to the very end met their ends far too early.
You are here. Today, present, reading this article and planning to live your golden years with dignity and grace. Sadly, many online articles detailing how to age gracefully include tips on makeup, skin care, and various obscure beauty tips. However, aging gracefully has very little to do with skin care and facelifts. Aging gracefully and with dignity is a belief in the goodness of what you are experiencing. It is tender, gentle affirmations that honor your being, the amazing journey of your life thus far, the countless experiences, moments of enlightenment, and beautiful memories that are the essential fabric of your being.
You are to be revered. You are a survivor. Pay homage to yourself. Run your fingers through your soft, graying hair. Trace your fingers along the beautiful lines and wrinkles upon your face. Honor your age. Your journey. Your being. Pay reverence to the life you have lived and most importantly, believe in the beauty that lies ahead for you. The art of graceful dignified aging truly begins with affirmation. Honoring yourself, eschewing the foolish notions of aging put forth by society, and having conviction in the beauty of your journey will be the point at which you truly learn how to age with dignity, grace, and the kind of beauty that matters.
Beginning Your Journey: Learning How to Age Gracefully and With Dignity
Commencing the journey to learning how to age gracefully and with dignity is really as simple as learning how to live a good life. What is a good life? It’s happiness. Contentment. Pride. Confidence. Vigor. Vitality. Hope. Health. Responsibility. Awareness. Resilience. Optimism. Belief. A good life should be the aim of any person no matter what their age.
It just so happens that living a good life is exactly how seniors can confidently ensure that they age with a radiant grace and venerable dignity. Becoming older will inevitably come with various issues. For many seniors, illness is a very real part of their lives, from dementia, being wheelchair-bound, or having to deal with painful osteoporosis or arthritic symptoms.
This article is not about glossing over the debilitating conditions that may afflict seniors as they grow older—rather it is about accepting the maladies our bodies experience and creating pragmatic solutions for the necessary health care and assistance required so that we can build a foundation to support our efforts to construct a happy and healthy life highlighted by a gentle, confident grace and self-affirming sense of dignity.
How to Age Gracefully and with Dignity by Living A Good Life
Procure the Necessary Healthcare Assistance for Your Medical Needs
Identify the type of health care assistance that you require by taking a critical look at the medical conditions you have and any associated difficulties performing tasks such as activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, toileting, cooking, cleaning) while also taking into consideration any impairments you may have that prohibit you from other tasks such as driving and getting to important medical appointments.
More than likely you will opt for a home health care aide to provide you assistance with tasks while you maintain an independent and self-reliant person within your home. However, some seniors with more debilitating illnesses will be required to move to a nursing home for a more comprehensive level of care.
Attitude, Perception, Acceptance, and Moving Toward Better Things
Understand that perception is reality and attitude really is in fact everything. The reality is that yes, you are getting older, experiencing various emotional landmines, sometimes you’re scared, and sometimes it just isn’t easy. Aging isn’t without its difficulties, but you have to firmly believe that your condition and level of assisted care does not define you or your life.
Do not get bogged down in negativity, pessimism, and depression. Acknowledge your medical conditions, make the appropriate health care assistance decision for your needs, and start moving forward with an eye on the future as you chart your journey to living the happy and exciting life you want to live while fully accepting and acknowledging your physical limitations. Instead of letting your medical conditions own you, you own them.
Accept their existence, get the care you need, and start thinking about far more interesting things like what your passions are, what excites you, what you would like to experience. Remember you are a survivor. You deserve happiness, excitement, and far more. Your life is about to be a lot more awesome—believe it, live it, breathe it.
Take your medications as prescribed. If you have trouble managing your meds, task your home health aide with this duty so that you can alleviate that concern and focus on more interesting things like what movie you want to watch next or what art project materials you will need to buy for your masterpiece.
Exercise. Fifteen minutes a day will have you feeling invigorated and energetic. Whether it’s a stroll in the park, jumping around in the pool, and practicing karate chops from your wheelchair, make sure you get a bit of heart-pumping exercise every day.
No need to push it; just a bit will work wonders for your overall strength, endurance, and emotional health. Bathe, brush your teeth, and floss. If you need help, your home health aide can assist you in grooming. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask; it’s their job, and you will feel clean, healthy, and ready to take on the world.
You know what’s great about being old? You’re not saddled in the office, working behind a sweaty oven, dealing with mean customers or any other of the unpleasant things that your younger counterparts are dealing with in the workforce. Instead, you’re poised to make an awesome blueprint for this new chapter of your life, full of interests, passions, and ideas.
Great ideas for personal development include:
- Computer classes for seniors
- Arts and crafts lessons
- Cultural festivals
- Swimming activities
- Senior cruises and vacations
- Bus trips to casinos full of your compadres ready to play a little roulette and dine at the ubiquitous all-you-can-eat casino buffets
- And so much more
- Address your health issues
- Implement appropriate health care assistance solutions
- Cultivate and maintain an attitude of acceptance, positivity, optimism, and excitement
- Make sure your grooming, bathing, and general health needs are attended to for optimal health
- Have your home health aide and nursing home assistant help you with the things you need help with, so you can focus on building your exciting life
- Focus on personal development by thinking about your passions, interests, goals, and various activities you would like to experience
In today’s modern times, our society is seemingly obsessed with highlighting all of the negative facets of becoming old. Anti-aging has become a movement that doesn’t officially exist in name but is a very real phenomenon driven by millions of people who subscribe to all the negative notions of aging and consequently do everything they can to turn back the clock. However, the clock ticks on.
Ticking away, it can drive a person with an unhealthy mindset positively mad. However, a person with a healthy mindset and an eye on creating a healthy and happy life won’t care about the ticks and the rocks; rather they tend to forget there’s even a clock. Becoming old is great. It’s a time to be sage, mellow, and relaxed, reveling in your ultimate freedom to construct a graceful and dignified life highlighted by passion, exploration, and self-discovery.
Life will always present new challenges, but you’ll navigate right through them because you’re a survivor; wise, resilient, capable, mature, and able to roll right along with any of life’s punches. Today is the first day of your majestic new life. Revel in the sheer joy of mapping out your life to maximize fun, excitement, learning, and self-discovery—and do it right around any medical conditions you may have. Your diagnoses do not define your life; rather they are just one part of your life that you address, reconcile, and strategically navigate to get going on experiencing the breathtakingly exciting endless number of experiences that await you.
Congratulations. You have now learned the art of learning how to age with dignity and grace. Enjoy it in all of its splendor; it’s your hard-earned and well-deserved prize.
“If there is anything behind a face, that face improves with age. Lines show distinction and character: they show that one has lived, that one may know something.” ~ Karen Crow