Growing (B)older

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Aging brings strength.

That’s the message in The End of Old Age: Living a Longer More Purposeful Life by geriatric psychologist Dr. Marc Agronin.

“When we realize the truth of this message, we can begin to end the tired and constricted notions of ‘old’ that we internalize throughout our lifetime and that serve to denigrate and limit our aging self and perpetuate an ageist culture,” writes Agronin. “To achieve this understanding, we must recognize the immense potential of our aging self, even in the face of common and expected struggles. We must learn how to age in a creative manner that is both the antidote to feeling old and the elixir of aging well.”

One of the best ways communities can help older adults age well is to celebrate them and harness their wisdom, he adds.

Aging is an opportunity, not a curse.

To help us see it that way, Agronin suggests focusing on five main areas:

Reserve: Catalogue your wisdom and take inventory of what you’ve learned over your lifetime.

Resilience: Consider your purpose in life; this is paramount in gaining a second wind in old age.

Reinvention: Change the way you create, treat people and explore the world.

Legacy: Think about what you will leave behind; this can alter how you spend the rest of your days.

Celebration: Transitions in life often come with a party, why not do it for getting old?

Nobody said changing your life is easy.

“It’s a long, gruelling process that takes honest self-reflection and a drive to become better.”

Here’s to growing (b)older and better!

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