Coming to Terms with Aging

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More Posts. Ways for Your Loved One to Cope with End-of-Life Anxiety There are certain coping strategies that can make a big difference in helping your loved one explore and accept their own mortality: Seek information. When it comes to sensitive topics like palliative care and end-of-life choices, being well-informed can help reduce the amount of anxiety your loved one feels. You can start by having a gentle conversation about these issues to see what your loved one wants to know more about.

By doing online research, you can discover how organizations, such as IOA, can help support your inquiries about dying and death.

Create an advance directive. Going through the process of getting an advance directive will guide your loved one to learn more about their options and confront difficult scenarios like the possibility of terminal illness. It also means speaking with family members and getting everyone on the same page to support your aging loved one. Join a support group. Being able to talk with other people in their age group can give your loved one the social support they need. Many community centers and aging organizations offer senior support groups where older adults can share their feelings in a safe environment.

This type of setting also encourages participants to offer emotional support to each other, which can be really healing. Keep in mind that services like the Friendship Line —where your loved one can share their feelings with a trained compassionate volunteer or staff professional anytime—can be equally beneficial.

Keep a journal. If your loved one enjoys writing, keeping a journal of their thoughts is a great way to explore their feelings and fears. Journaling is known to help people cope with their fear of death. To get started, you might check in to see whether your loved one is keen on the idea — if they are, offer suggestions for topics to write about such as their anxieties and fears. Together you can talk about what your loved one writes down. We continued eating for a moment. After a bit, Sally turned to me and said, "How old are you again?

Kim's smile drooped--to her, my quick reaction meant that though I was happy to be getting older, I didn't want to be as old as she was. In fact, she's right. I'm enjoying each year far more than I might have imagined possible as a teenager, but that doesn't mean I want my life to pass any more quickly.

Learning to Love Growing Old | Psychology Today

As much as I like my thirties, I'm not giving up a single year before it's time. Paradoxically, I do know that, on most levels, the future looks promising. Given all the fear we seem to have of it, the wondrous news is that getting older is a generally positive thing. We don't just accumulate years, we also gain wisdom which enables us to make decisions with less of the fussing and wheel-spinning that marked our teens and twenties. As we get older, we know more not only about the world but about ourselves. We have better attention spans and an increased ability to focus. Conventional thinking has always emphasized the miserable, crotchety older person, Scogin adds, but in fact unhappiness is far from the norm.

Rates of depression tend to decline after the age of 45, for both men and women. There's a slight--but temporary--blip in men's rates around the time of retirement. Other research shows that our sense of what we deem most important for happiness tends to alter appropriately as we age, a sign of the true resilience of the human spirit: We may not look as fresh-faced, but we like ourselves more. We actually think fewer negative thoughts.

Life becomes simpler. Our priorities shift in a healthy and adaptive fashion. One other rosy aspect to the future is that as physical attributes become a little less stunning, sex roles begin to blur. Men become more accommodating and emotionally expressive; women more assertive and active in meeting their own needs. With a little less passion, a little less division of roles, and an increase in contentment and openness with one another, relationships in later life tend to become far more important, satisfying, and mutual. On the down side--and, of course, there had to be one--we begin to slow on all fronts.

It becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with the energies of a two-year-old, or to add up a series of numbers in one's head. Memory grows less efficient as well.

Growing old: The unbearable lightness of ageing - Jane Caro - TEDxSouthBank

In fact, it's a process that begins between the ages of 18 and 20 but is so slow and subtle that it doesn't become noticeable until around the age of And when we first face the fact that memorizing what we need to do that day is getting difficult, we adapt. We start making lists and otherwise reorder our approach to retaining information.

How I Made Peace With My Aging Body

In truth, the worst part of getting older appears to be ageism--the intolerant attitudes of younger people. According to Scogin, "People grow impatient with you for your slowness, even though that decline in speed is appropriate.

Think of that driver who makes you crazy when you're trying to get some place. That person isn't being op-positional, as it appears to you. His or her reactions are slower, so it's natural that he or she would drive more cautiously" Of course, older people are as heterogeneous as any other population, Scogin adds: "Some are hot-rodding down the highway, some are doddering along. One can't ever generalize. Okay, so if we're supposed to be satisfied with our aging selves, does that mean it's wrong to help nature along, to try and slow down the ravages of time?

According to Stone, author of the forthcoming Happily Ever After: A Guide for Newlyweds, "Dying your hair or having collagen injections doesn't really have anything to do with avoiding getting older per se; it's about wanting to feel good about yourself and feel attractive. It's like wearing beautiful lingerie: Nobody else knows you're doing it, but you feel indulged and valuable. That's a reasonable thing to do. But such self-improvement can go too far, Stone explains.

How to Deal With Death and Dying as You Age

For example, if a person values his or her attractiveness to the exclusion of other personal characteristics, then the person is loving him or herself from the outside-in rather than the inside-out. According to Kivnick, who researches how the lives of very frail elders can be improved, the most important thing we can do to ensure a comfortable and interesting old age is to plan for one. Not simply financially, although that's obviously important. Most of us will spend a good twenty years or more in healthy, active post-retirement, and just expecting to sit on one's heels and rest is hardly a realistic plan for happiness.

Don't just daydream about planting a garden, says Kivnick. Learn about gardening, and be ready for the day you'll be free to spend all afternoon with your hands in the dirt. Plan to stay involved in your community, with your family, with whatever has interested and intrigued you thus far. Having family and friends isn't the answer to a happy life, but engaging actively with them is. And it seems possible that this involvement can help you live even longer.

It's also essential to know yourself. Especially after children. We all have to drop the idea of bouncing back like Heidi Klum. With age comes sagging boobs and larger butts and an expanding waistline. There is only so much you can do to turn back the hands of time; denial is not one of them. The Act: I am platinum blonde genetically.

I remember when I had the kind of hair that you could do nothing trendy with.

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So what did I do? Cried, poked and prodded—whatever I could to make my hair everything that it was not, which was versatile. I cut it all off. It felt so liberating, so light, so real! The second I realized I could change my hair to suit its nature, I made it my own.