Ageing Well

by Huffington Post

Gerontologists at the Huffington Center on Aging, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, have been following a group of older people for several decades. (Baltimore Longitudinal Study) The results show that our personalities really don’t change much over time. So if someday someone says you’re a mean-spirited old coot, you were probably that way when you were 30 – age didn’t have any thing to do with it. Also, as we age, we still like to do the things we did when we were young. Contrary to popular belief, older people can still drive safely, run in the Olympics (the Senior Olympics, of course) and, more good news; older people maintain an interest in sex all of their lives.

The study points out that yet another new projection in ageing is that we will see a dramatic increase in the number of centenarians. Will you be one of them, we’re asked? If so:
• Who will take care of you? • Will there be enough well-trained health care professionals in the field of geriatrics to provide the health care you will most likely need? (There aren’t enough now.) • Will the baby boomers – those turning age 50 at the rate of thousands per day for the next ten years – have enough money to live well that long? Will we? • Will our governments have sufficient social policies in place to accommodate a rapidly aging population?

Sobering questions!

Finally, it’s suggested we close our eyes and see ourselves some 40 or 50 years from now and think about those things we did well.

• Exercised 3-5 times weekly; • Ate a low-fat diet; • Maintained a recommended weight level; • Kept our blood pressure within normal range; • Did not smoke; • Consumed alcohol in moderation (no more than 1-2 oz./day); • coped effectively with stressful events; • Had a circle of friends with whom we socialized frequently; • Saved enough money to be comfortable in our old age; • Maintained a positive self-attitude about our own aging; • Were future oriented; • Remained active in learning new things. (No problem here for U3Aers, of course.)

Did you see yourself doing these things, being “this way”? Good, because research indicates that this is called prospective, even productive ageing. So, as the ubiquitous T-shirt slogan says – “Just Do It”!