Positive Aging: Happening Daily at Surrey

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“What Does Aging Well Really Mean?” asked the headline in the July/August issue of AgingToday newspaper. It is a complex question with very complex answers, answers that are unique for each person.  Around Surrey each day are positive, happy older adults who are aging well.  What they all have in common is a positive attitude, a willingness to be engaged, a willingness to learn, and the enjoyment of being part of the Surrey community.

Other articles in this issue were Reflections and Research on Living Well, Aging Well (Harvard), and To Change the Things We Can: Aging Well Through Self-acceptance, Adaptation and Continual Growth.  The following paragraph seemed to sum up all the articles: 

“Despite all the rhetoric, there have emerged fundamental guidelines for aging well, strategies that seem rather, well, basic:  Don’t smoke, keep your weight under control, exercise regularly, socialize, keep learning and cultivate resiliency.”

There is no hierarchy in this list--socializing and continuing to learn are just as important as not smoking.  On KYW this morning there was a report on the benefits of learning to sing and the positive effect it has on dementia prevention.  Learning to sing makes us use a different part of our brain, with a very positive impact on brain cell activity.  Maybe you will consider joining the Surrey Chorus. If you do that, you sing and socialize with wonderful people--two strategies for aging well.  After chorus you can eat a healthy meal in the café and then use the fitness center.  You can hit almost all the strategies for aging well in one Surrey visit!

As one article stated, “Two pillars of aging well were revealed by the 75-year-old (Harvard) study.  One is love and the idea that other people matter.  The second is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away … happiness during retirement was not significantly correlated with either income or health, whereas the maintenance of social supports remained all-important.”

What does aging well mean to you?  Do you relate to any of these comments written by the experts?  I would enjoy hearing from you on this topic.

Barbara Fentress, President & CEO