What does it mean to grow old in today’s world? Aging affects everyone differently. However, the one thing we all have in common is that we cannot avoid it.
How do we not just grow old, but grow old well? Does it require good health, good relationships, satisfying activities, spirituality, and enough resources to meet our needs? There are many opinions about what it means to age gracefully or successfully. Some say that you must …
- Be free of disease or disability
- Maintain good physical and mental health
- Participate regularly in activities
- Have healthy social support
- Feel an overall satisfaction with life
To understand what it means to “age gracefully,” consider the physical, social and psychological components of a person. Positive social support has an important role in buffering the effects of physical health. However, not all social relationships necessarily have a positive effect on health. Negative social interactions can have negative effects on physical health.
Aging gracefully for some older adults may involve spirituality or religion. For some, it is an important part of their daily life. Many seniors are deeply tied to their faith communities. Religious institutions provide an important social framework for building deep relationships and for exploring their questions about God and life. They also provide access to helpful networks of support in times of social, psychological and physical need. Religious activities are common among older adults who depend on their faith to cope with or adapt to change or difficult losses. Spiritual needs of older adults may include some or all of the following:
- The need to find meaning and purpose
- The need for love and relatedness
- The need for forgiveness
- The need to cope with losses
- The need to explore questions about God and life
- The need to prepare for death and dying
- The need to be useful
- The need to be thankful
I encourage you to think about what it means for you to age gracefully. If there are physical, social, psychological or spiritual areas in your life that need a boost, don’t be afraid to seek help. Talk with a counselor, pastor, family member or friend about your needs.
Meagan has a passion for helping others experience true healing. Her hope is to help guide others toward knowledge and truth that leads to changed minds and lives. Prior to joining Hope For The Heart, Meagan gained experience working at an inpatient mental health facility. Meagan’s approach to counseling encompasses an integration of Christianity and psychology when the client desires that Christianity be involved. Some of the counseling methods Meagan uses include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution- Focused Therapy and Psychoanalytic Therapy.