Successful Aging

Successful aging is a term I have been thinking about a great deal lately.  Anti-aging and longevity are popular terms which we come across nearly everyday, however successful aging is rarely mentioned.   What is successful aging?  A pair of research analysts Rowe and Kahn declared that:

 “Successful aging as being free from disease or disease-related disability, experiencing high cognitive and physical functioning, and engaging actively with life.”

 I believe that successful aging is much broader than this definition and more importantly it is personal.  Success is one of those words that  varies with the individual and the instance, however a generic definition might be:

 “Success is to achieve one’s desired outcome or better.”

What do you consider are your key characteristics of successful aging?  If you have never thought about it I suggest now is a good time, unless you want to just live longer under any conditions.

Who wants to live longer and be miserable?

It is never too late to think about tomorrow and to start making little changes to move you closer to your goals and desires.  A great analogy which demonstrates the power of a small shift is travelling from one city to another, e.g. New York to LA.  Draw a straight line between the two cities, and then draw another line which starts one degree up from your original starting position. As you draw this second line, notice how it changes your end point and your journey. Sometimes all it takes is a small seemingly insignificant change to give you a monumental shift.

Think about what successful aging means to you, and follow this up with thinking about the little shifts you may need to implement to ensure you move closer to your version of successful aging.

Some of the aspects you may want to consider in your definition of successful aging could be: 

  • being able to take care of oneself
  • level of health and fitness
  • ongoing friendships
  • financial independence
  • relationship with your family
  • involvement with community or mankind
  • acceptance of one’s pending mortality
  • being able to continue to live by your standards
  • continual learning and growing
  • feeling useful
  • not feeling lonely or isolated
  • maintaining healthy self esteem
  • where are you living
  • what are you doing.

 **  The earlier you start thinking about your future the better off your future will be. **


One Response to “Successful Aging”
  1. Bunker says:

    Roz….I like your analogy of lines from NY to LA. Sometimes the smallest things change our whole lives….and making the decision not to be lonely is always within our control. I like it!

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