As we age, we have a lot of options. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we can choose to get older or not… chronological age is typically how we categorize people. I’m 34 years old. She just turned 65. He’s almost 89! Counting the years someone has been alive is the simplest way to categorize age, but it provides little information about someone’s characteristics.
Throughout our lives, we are told to eat healthy and exercise. Drink a lot of water. Wear sunscreen and get 8-hours of sleep. Most of these tips are so ubiquitous that they go in one ear and out the other. They are options for healthy living and can affect your “functional age.” Healthy habits can help your body function better and fight the signs of chronological aging.
How old you feel is your “subjective age.” Our mindset has a tremendous impact on our bodies; we choose our own activity level and feelings about health. We often define ourselves subjectively.
So what do you think about growing older? To which of the three categories of aging do you ascribe? Your attitude will influence the experience of aging. Many people are in denial about aging. People take anti-aging medicines and get plastic surgery to look and feel younger. Others adapt to growing older and make necessary changes. This doesn’t mean they resign themselves to their fate and wait around to die. Adaptation is a key to successful aging. When you accept the processes of aging, you can adapt to changes in the body and make social and financial adjustments.
Some people do not view their life options based on age; this is called “age irrelevance.” Being “ageless” or buying products and services that are not tied to chronological age can be a strong preference.
Positivity, or age affirmation, is the fourth attitude toward aging. We develop goals for ourselves that are tied to our age. We look forward to milestone birthdays. A feeling of freedom or not caring what other people think can be a great benefit. Regardless how you feel about aging, the fact is that as people age, they typically require more assistance such as in-home care services.
So, you have some options to consider. How will you define aging: Chronologically, Functionally, or Subjectively? Then, what strategy will you take toward aging: Age Denial, Age Adaptation, Age Irrelevance, or Age Affirmation? You decide.