HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Science and medicine have made it possible for us to live longer. But living longer can create more health issues as our bodies age. Being proactive in caring for ourselves and having a positive attitude can maximize our health and sense of well-being. Successful aging, or aging well, involves three factors: being free of disability or disease, having high cognitive and physical abilities, and interacting with others in a meaningful way.
This is a time when we lose some of the roles that previously defined us and some of our important relationships. Often a search for meaning or redefinition becomes important to our emotional health. Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t have the language for the inner work of aging. However, that is all changing.
The conscious aging movement seeks to support those of us who are looking for meaning in the aging process. This movement brings people together to consider issues particular to aging and tends to have a more spiritual or existential perspective. As we age, we tend to reflect on our life’s meaning, our legacy, death, and the fear of being alone, and this movement helps us manage these big issues and life transitions.
In his book Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying, Ram Dass writes,
Getting old isn’t easy for a lot of us. Neither is living, neither is dying. We struggle against the inevitable and we all suffer because of it. We have to find another way to look at the whole process of being born, growing old, changing, and dying, some kind of perspective that might allow us to deal with what we perceive as big obstacles without having to be dragged through the drama.
This space explores our mind, body, and spirit as we age through our 60s and beyond.
… I’ve discovered that when you’re inside oldness, as opposed to looking at it from the outside, fear subsides. You realize you’re still yourself—maybe even more so. — Jane Fonda, TED talk, Life’s Third Act
Articles / Research
“Gut Microbiome Improved on Mediterranean Diet, Linked to Healthy Aging” — Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News
“Aging Out of the Mammogram”
— New York Times
“How to Boost Immune Response to Vaccines in Older People” — Science Daily
“Turning Back the Clock on Aging Cells” — New York Times
“There’s More Than One Way to Age. How Are You Doing It?” — Los Angeles Times
“Resolving to eat better in 2020?”
— Dan Winer, Buck Institute
“Why We Cant’ Tell the Truth About Aging”
A long life is a gift. But will we really be grateul for it — New Yorker magazine
Successful Aging; Daniel J. Levitin, 2020, Dutton Press
Elderhood; Louise Aronson, 2019, Bloomsbury Publishing
Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have to; David A. Sinclair, PhD, Matthew D. LaPlante, 2019, Atria Books
Old Man Country: My Search for Meaning Among the Elders; Thomas R. Cole, 2019, Oxford University Press
Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Wiser; Lewis Richmond, 2012, Avery (Penguin Books)
This Old Man: All in Pieces; Roger Angell, 2015, Doubleday
Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging; Alan D. Castel PhD. Copyright © 2019 by Oxford University Press
Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being, Andrew Weil MD, 2007, Anchor Publishing
Act 3: The Art of Growing Older, Judy Reith and Adrain Reith, 2020, Unbound
The Alliance on Aging Research (A video library of many health issues common to aging)
The Upsides of Getting Old (Some positive thoughts from residents at the Hebrew Home in Riverdale, NY; from The Atlantic)
How to Live Passionately—No Matter Your Age, Isabel Allende, TED talk