Simply put - we need to get wiser, younger. If we don’t, then an issue that could have been avoided, could end up being in our lives, challenging us and straining our resilience. Whilst it is important to live in the now it is also a positive to think about the effects of today on tomorrow. No time is too late to make a difference and we do have so much available to us, through getting physical, creative, meeting new people, volunteering - whatever keeps you healthy.
So where’s the motivation - being healthy in ageing, that’s where it is. Of course, some pre-disposition and factors that are beyond our control can occur, but the evidence is so strong around keeping active, engaged, connected to control what we all deem inevitable. Well inevitability is not our excuse anymore, telling ourselves that we may as well do whatever because it is going to happen anyway has been disproved, even for conditions such as Dementia.
There is something about perception too - let’s look at what people can do instead of what they can’t, regardless of age or circumstance. Some things make it difficult, of course, but rarely impossible. Prof Martin Vernon prompts us to ask the question “what matters to you” because this is so personal and if that one, or set of things, can be facilitated - that is independence and joy.
So healthy ageing doesn’t start at retirement age, it is much sooner than that. Think about what you would like to do with your future, what are your dreams, activities that would mean a lot to you to continue if life became more challenging at any time along the journey but you could make the most of now. It might be that these reflections would bring about change earlier, that may never have been thought about or aired otherwise, but had really been bringing you down or getting you stuck.
We are all ageing from birth, so as a society we need to rethink our habit of waiting for tomorrow to change. Perhaps you have an interest that you may not have thought about for a while, or keep putting off going for a walk or meeting up with that friend you haven’t seen in ages. Make a change today by doing something now, break the routine and find yourself again.
What’s it going to be?...
Jane Cadman - Here are my thoughts, observations and insights...