Old age can be a worrisome stage in one’s life since there are a lot of changes that can happen during this period in life. For a lot of older adults, some of these changes may have happened much earlier whether or by choice such as retirement or by other uncontrollable factors such as other health conditions. Whatever the case, there are several things people can do to slow down the process and ensure that the aging process goes well. In this article, we will answer the question as to when does old age begin? What can be done to slow down the process of aging?
So, when does old age begin?
People may be thinking that there is a fixed period where individuals can claim that they’ve reached old age. But is this the case? Surprisingly, it was observed that old age gets pushed back as people age. Take the following cases:
- Individuals who are aged over 65 years belive that 74 is the age when old age begins
- People who are within the range of 50 to 64 years old believe that 72 years old is when old age begins
- Adults who are aged 30 to 49 years old believe that old age starts at 69 years old.
A more definitive study though confirmed that on average, men think that old age begins at 66 years old while women believe that old age begins when they reach 70 years old.
How to Age Healthily and Slow down the Aging Process
When major life changes occur, it may difficult to cope. The main concern for most older adults is that there are several major transitions and a lot of changes that happen at the same time- changing careers, loss of parents and loved ones, the kids moving away, and sometimes even limited independence. However, if these things are met head-on with some positive aspects or strategies, then there is a better chance for you to healthily age and even slow down the aging process.
Aging Healthily means the continuous reinvention of one’s self while going through the different milestones of being 60, 70, 80 years old and above. This means adjusting your lifestyle to learn new skills, meeting and forming new social circles, and being more physically active. But all of these changes can be anxiety-filled for most older adults.
Listed below, though, are some of the aging tips that can help you go through aging much more easily and healthily:
Tip no. 1: Coping with change should be learned
As people get older, there will be ups and downs but what’s important is that older adults learn how to cope with these changes and find ways to cope with the said changes in a healthy manner. As such people can focus on more positive things to cope with change readily and these include the following:
- Focusing more on things that you should be thankful for
- Expressing and recognizing your feelings
- Accepting that there are certain things you cannot change
- Looking for the positive things in life despite all the challenges
- Ensure that you are acting on life’s challenges one day at a time.
Tip No. 2 Finding joy and meaning
One of the best things we can do for ourselves to ensure that we age well and healthily is to find the joy and meaning of our life. As people grow old, some things need to be let go such as a job or a career or looking after the children.
However, this does not mean that your meaning in life has stopped and in fact, this is the perfect time to start on a new adventure. This means looking for different activities that will be worthwhile for you. Some of these include:
- Starting with a hobby that has been neglected
- Try learning a new skill or hobby
- Giving your time to the community and being part of meaningful organizations within the said community,
- Going to new places and visiting locales you’ve never been to
- Enjoying the different forms of art such as paintings, opera, and even multi-media
- Start writing a life journal to keep a record of your beautiful experiences
Tip No. 3- Staying Connected
Maintaining a network of people who can support you throughout your aging can be difficult. This is mainly due to the major changes mentioned earlier such as retirement, illness, and moving out of your area. It is during these times that you need to stay connected with the people that matter to you the most and those you hold dear. Some of the things you can do to stay connected are:
- Regularly stay in touch with family and friends
- Try to meet new people and create new friendships
- Spend your day with at least one person
- Participate in voluntary work in the community
- Find some groups that share the same passion as you do.
Tip No. 4- Boost your vitality and stay active
Growing older does not necessarily mean illness and discomfort. While some physical changes can make you more prone to these adverse effects of aging, they can be reduced or limited by taking care of yourself, eating a healthy or balanced diet, and regular exercise.
The good news is that while you are still alive, it is never too late to start with a healthy lifestyle. A number of older adults reported feeling better after exercising in the later years of life due to fewer injuries compared to their more athletic counterparts.
The mere attempt to improve your lifestyle also showed older adults feeling much better about themselves compared to when they were younger and were not doing anything good for their health.
Listed below are some of the things you can do for your health:
- Regular exercise and staying physically active
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet and avoiding junk or processed food
- Getting enough sleep every day