May is Older Americans MonthPosted: May 17, 2022, 2:54PM
The theme for Older Americans Month 2022 is Age My Way.
What does that mean?
Aging my way is getting older on my terms. Or, as much as possible.
I don't know many people who want to leave their home - whether it's a house, a condo, a townhouse, or an apartment. We want to stay where we are comfortable, know the "lay of the land", and can make our own decisions and schedules. We may not want to share space with people we don't know. How can we age in place? Age where we're happy?
The Administration for Community Living is focusing on how we can stay in our homes and live independently for as long as possible.
Planning, participation, accessibility, and making connections all play a role in how we age. Each one of us is unique and has different preferences. We want to remain as involved as we want to be. We want to be as active as we want to be. We want to "drive our own bus".
Think about how you want to age, where you want to age, think about your financial situation, and think about your health. Do you have a spouse / partner? Factor in those answers.
There are many opportunities for participation ranging from online to in-person, and covering many areas of interest. There are opportunities to be active in your community advocating for social causes, the arts, and many other needs. How much do we want to participate?
Accessibility can mean many things. Accessibility can vary depending on where you live and what you need. Accessibility may mean curb cuts and it may mean the availability of a service or opportunity to participate. Accessibility may mean affordable housing and a manageable cost of living. Accessibility may mean having Internet access. For our readers in West Virginia, accessibility can be a problem.
Connections can not be underestimated. The past two years have taught this. We need our families, our friends, our co-workers, our kids, and our grandkids. Connections contribute to our mental and spiritual well-being.
As part of your process, add having an attitude of gratitude.
Start each day with an affirming thought. Something as simple as "I believe in myself."
Tell yourself or write in your journal. What are 3 things for which I'm grateful?
Aging our way is our goal. We want to be independent. Sometimes we need help. It's tough to admit, it's tough to ask, and it's tough to accept help. But - keep in mind that accepting help now can possibly keep us independent.
(It's kind of like walking with assistance. I'm still walking. I just need a little help, and it may keep me from falling.)
Be proactive in your aging and do it your way!
If you are in need of assistance to remain in your home, if you're looking at options for alternative housing, get in touch with us. We offer information on resources that are available to help older adults and caregivers with aging questions and issues.