Five Tips to Help You Age Well
Education and Advocacy Learn about programs and workshops that give older people experiences that increase their knowledge and gives them new social engagement opportunities
As we age, various events affect our social interactions and connections. Living on a pension with decreasing savings may limit social outings. Loss of driver’s license decreases our mobility. Significant life changes such as illnesses reduce our social circle until we’re left with the TV, perhaps a pet, and maybe a friend or two.
Non-profits such as Ontario Society of Senior Citizens Organizations (OSSCO) have created various learning programs and workshops to give older people experiences that increase their knowledge and give them new social engagement opportunities. At OSSCO, we believe that everyone should be able to mentally age well and that cost should not be a barrier to aging.
We all know the basic “prescription” to aging well — eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. It’s not always easy to do, but here are some tips that OSSCO’s “senior” learners shared.
- Create a daily routine and schedule activities to keep busy. Focus on others through volunteering to improve your frame of mind.
- Just keep moving. Join an exercise group. Do several small walks daily. Even with an acquired disability such as vision or hearing loss, or walking with a cane or in a wheelchair, there’s an activity for everyone.
- Stay connected. If family or friends are not nearby, connect online through Facebook or Instagram.
- Take a class such as computers or Photoshop, offered by OSSCO for free. Attend a lecture at the library or one of OSSCO’s monthly Tuesdays with OSSCO programs. These challenge your brain and rebuild the important social connections we need.
- Healthy brains require good nutrition. Healthy eating can also reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar levels.
Aging well mentally requires us to redefine our aging process and to recognize that change — cognitively and physically — is inevitable. Instead of grieving about the past, acknowledge what you’ve gained. Look forward to the aging journey that you’re on.
Elizabeth Macnab, Executive Director, OSSCO