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Active aging promotes the vision of all individuals, fully engaging in life within all seven dimensions of wellness: emotional, environmental, intellectual/cognitive, physical, professional/vocational, social and spiritual. Today older adults get to experience a newer and more freeing version of what it once was to get older. Instead of the traditional images and realities getting older is just that, and not much else anymore. Take some time during Active Aging Week to consider some areas in your life to keep or make your life a little more active! Active Aging week this year is October 1st – 7th, some topics to think about during this week are;
Brain Health – keeping the brain healthy is a vital part of aging. It isn’t simply related to functions like memory or cognition but also interconnects with everyday life in things such as food and recreation. For example;
- When making food choices focus on a wide variety of produce, whole grains, lean protein choices, minimally processed, with a smattering of treats!
- Feeling “blue” or depressed isn’t a normal part of aging. When feelings like this go on for days at a time seeking help is a good call.
- Keep your brain engaged with new activities; even if it is something you are learning for the first time!
- Memory doesn’t all fade with age. In fact, semantic memory – memory for facts and information gained through experience – typically gets better with age. So get on those new experiences and help your brain out!
Hydration for Active Adults – older adults often do not get enough fluid and older adults naturally have a lower water volume and even minor illnesses can result in dehydration. Water has a lot of important roles in the body such as;
- Protects and cushions vital organs
- Moistens tissues such as the mouth, nose, and eyes
- Regulates body temperature
- Moistens air for breathing
- Maintains blood pressure and blood volume
- Carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and helps digest and utilize nutrients
- Prevents constipation and helps eliminate waste
The Silent Challenge – incontinence is one of the few conditions that significantly impact ALL seven dimensions of wellness. Roughly 50% of women and 30% of men over 65 experience this and most say it interferes with their daily life. Incontinence can be a catalyst for falls, keep your from quality sleep, or simply keep your from enjoying your life. Some initial actions to take can be;
- Be open to talking to those you know who may have already navigated this issue
- Be open and frank with your doctor and ask them about resources for yourself
- Take your inquiries online to a support group where a large number of people will be able to give you suggestions or ideas
Panorama is an exemplary model of a place where active aging is supported, encouraged, and accomplished! Having the environment around you is important but even more so, you need to create a plan to make things happen! Check out more information via the International Council on Active Aging website, www.icaa.cc.
Erin Dorn, Aquatic & Fitness Coordinator