Roughly 44 million people in the United States are now 65 or older, and by 2050, an estimated 387,000 could reach age 100. This is great news for all of us: There’s never been a better time to age with vitality and success!
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) studied factors that influence longevity and found that Americans age 95 and up have more positive attitudes toward life, are more extroverted (gain energy from being active in the world around them), and have less emotional distress than the general, younger population. They are also more socially active and are resilient; that is, they can adapt to negative circumstances.
Resilience is key. At the 2017 Masterpiece Living Lyceum, author and gerontologist Nancy Schlossberg, Ph.D. was the keynote speaker. Her topic was the importance of resilience throughout our live. She explained that the ability to survive and thrive after a setback, even a difficult personal challenge, learning to do so is essential to overall well-being and continued personal growth.
It’s not always easy to bounce back after a setback, but following Schlossberg’s tips can help you gain perspective and move forward.
Tips for Building Resilience:
Think positively and stay engaged: Remaining positive, being intentional, and staying engaged in all aspects of your life is a key component of building resilience. Exchange negative thoughts for positivity; focus on the possibilities of what can be.
Find your purpose: Everyone needs a reason to get out of bed every morning. Find what brings meaning to your life – even if it what is meaningful to you does not seem meaningful to others. Some people may find that their purpose remains the same throughout their lives, but many people need to continually explore new interests as they age and grow.
Invest in your relationships: Almost all relationships ebb and flow over time, so it is essential to keep expanding your personal circles along with other forms of growth. Within your relationships, make an effort to make your loved ones, friends, and colleagues feel appreciated and to identify how they make you feel appreciated in return.
After reading these tips and the NIA findings, it’s easy to see how living at Acacia Creek supports our residents’ successful aging lifestyles. Residents of all ages model resilience and positivity. When faced with illness or injury, they remain engaged with their passions and purpose, doing what they can with what they’ve got. This attitude of resilience supports Acacia Creek’s successful aging culture, as do the strong connections residents share with one another.
Armed with the right attitude, a sense of purpose, and strong social connections, it is possible to remain resilient and vital throughout all of life’s challenges. By being intentional, staying engaged, and making others feel valued, we support the successful aging culture of Acacia Creek.
By Penny Vittoria, Successful Aging Coach