Who starts? What do you say? How do you say it? Thirty million Americans are getting older at the same time. And few want to admit it or talk about it. Who starts the discussion? And how?
Did you know that the average person over 50 considers himself or herself to be 20 years younger than their chronological age? We are exposed to countless media messages that glamorize youth and mock aging. No wonder all of us seemingly have a hard time admitting that we are getting older.
And what’s the harm? Well – denial and delusion carry their own weights. Of course, if you have been visiting this website for a while – you know another answer. The harm is that as we age, unless we recognize our mental and physical changes, we may find ourselves unprepared and unequipped to deal with issues (including safety hazards) that arise during what could be the most enjoyable phase of life.
It’s time to embrace aging. As they say, think about the alternative.
Before others are forced to make decisions for you, I would suggest the following steps:
In essence, you (the senior) should be the one who talks to your loved ones about aging. Share your desires. Ask what your loved ones desire. Do it with love and forgiveness. Make it fun. Keep it light.
We do not need to make assumptions when we learn what others think and desire.
We do not take anything personally when we understand that each of us is doing the best that we can.
So tomorrow, begin the process and before long talk with a loved one about aging. “You know, I’m not getting any younger. I was thinking that I would like to ... What do you think?”
Don’t wait too long. It’s your life and it would be a shame to miss out on the best part – giving more to yourself and to those you love.
Caveat … So your parents do not heed this advice. I encourage you to read some of the books in our book section to help you help them open up about aging. Your parents would benefit from the books, too.
Waterman, Jane Wolf. Oh My God! We’re Parenting Our Parents.
Hopker, Patty. Senior Satisfaction Revealed.
Ruiz, Don Miguel. The Four Agreements.
*Note: Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!