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07.28.22 | Sage Advice

How to Combat Senioritis As An Adult

It’s not just teenagers who can feel senioritis adults can too. We’ve all experienced it at some point; laziness, disinterest, having no motivation, not caring about the outcomes of our life. But just because these symptoms of checking out are universally experienced doesn’t make them okay to ignore. Today, we’re investigating adult senioritis, how checking out can affect your wellbeing and tools you can use to combat it:

What Senioritis Looks Like As An Adult

You might know senioritis as the affliction many seniors in high school experience as they enter their final year when their motivation declines and their drive to succeed diminishes. Though this phenomenon isn’t just found in young adults, anyone can experience senioritis. 

Typically, senioritis begins when there is a sign of a major transformation occurring in life, like graduating high school or even starting a new job. It begins with a fear of the future and feeling like you may not have control over a situation. As we age, many of the small tasks we enjoy earlier in life become tiresome and lose value to us, which can lead to checking out. 

However, it’s important to remember that checking out looks different to every person. The key is to recognize the signs and signals once you see them and begin taking action to snap out of the senioritis. 

How You Can Combat It

After acknowledging that you may be checking out, don’t start by setting unattainable goals for yourself – start small. Give yourself a to-do list of a handful of goals to reach every day, whether that’s going to the grocery store to run errands or making sure you respond to all of your emails. 

Once you’ve given yourself a list of small goals to aim for, the next step is to pair an incentive to it! Use motivations that connect back to why you might be checking out in the first place; if you’re starting a job, go shopping for new work clothes. Whatever your incentive is, use that to help drive you to complete your goals. 

As you tackle senioritis and become an active participant in your life again, remember to take it one step at a time. It might not always feel like you’ll be able to step out of it, but you will. 

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08.10.21 | Sage Advice

Embracing the cultural process of aging

As we articulate in the Sage Vibrant Living Manifesto, cultural perceptions of aging have an enormous impact on individuals and their communities. As we continue to fight ageism and the traditional American notions of aging that many of us still experience today, we look to the wisdom of others to share new ways of thinking and doing.

Carl Honoré, writer and activist, argues that in order to age better we must feel better about the process. Learning how to age better in a world where aging is presented in a negative frame can be extremely hard, but it only takes a few minutes to change your perspective. In his TED Talk, Honoré explains how to embrace the aging process. Honoré also delves into his method for combating ageist traditions and practices within our lives. Watch below to learn more:

A quote sits on top of an image of two older adults laughing. The quote reads "We need to feel better about aging in order to age better," and is attributed to Carl Honore. The sage logo sits in the bottom right corner.
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12.17.20 | Sage Advice

A Vibrant Living Guide to Aging in Place

How does vibrant living play into aging in place? “Aging in place” describes the process of growing older at home. It’s a process rooted in independence and comfort; a way for older adults to maintain normalcy and their sense of community.

We recently spoke with Angela Higginbotham about her expertise on aging in place, learned from assisting her 93-year-old mother at her mother’s home. Higginbotham is a CPS educator, Lead Speech Pathologist and a member of the Sage Collective Board of Directors.

Maintaining Independence 

“First off, I feel grateful to have the opportunity to care for my mom,” reflects Higginbotham. “I saw the sacrifices she made for my family growing up and I’m happy it’s my turn to do that now. As for how our caretaking occurs: it’s a family affair where my mother is directly involved in the decision-making process. My brother, sister, mother and I all sit down and have a conversation about how she’s feeling, what her needs are and how we can support her as long as we can in an independent setting.” 

Though aging in place isn’t a viable option for everyone, it’s important for older adults with the mental and physical capacity to maintain that level of independence. “As long as people are able to take care of themselves, they’ll be able to take care of themselves longer,” explains Higginbotham. “So helping older adults to age in place, when possible, is essential to sustaining a vibrant life. Because I believe that once people stop maintaining their independence, it affects them psychologically and emotionally.” 

Text over a green background, with quotation marks at the top and the Sage Collective logo at the bottom. Text reads: Helping older adults to age in place, when possible, is essential to sustaining a vibrant life.

Staying Engaged Through Community

“My mom still has her driver’s license — she’s smart about it and only drives between 10-2, when everyone else is at work and when it’s safest — but she still goes to church and out to see friends,” says Higginbotham. For older adults, social isolation and loneliness are often big hurdles to overcome. Staying engaged with family, friends and community members, then, plays a vital role in supporting a more vibrant lifestyle.

Higginbotham goes on to say: “My mom also personally knows many of my friends. From time to time, they’ll give her a phone call or even go and visit, which is something I so appreciate. It means she’s connecting with people and that’s so important.” Though maintaining independence is a large part of aging in place, it is these moments of human connection and care that help the experience feel even more comfortable and warm.

Staying Engaged Through Culture

Social engagement is one thing — but finding things to do for oneself is vital, too. We’ve emphasized before the importance of older adults discovering activities they love. Higginbotham reinforces this perspective, sharing: “One of my mom’s favorite hobbies is quilting. In the spring, we’ll also go to the nursery and pick out plants for both her place and my place together. I’ll keep her company at her house while she plants hers and then she’ll come over while I do mine. We also — pre-COVID times, of course — loved to go to the theater. We’d get lunch or dinner and see different plays across the city. It gave my mom something to talk about, too, because she’d go back and tell her girlfriend all about it.” 

Higginbotham reflects on this, saying, “It’s important for people to get out and see what’s going on in the world. As people age, their ability to transport themselves to new places is limited, and they know about, what they know about. But, if there are people around who can expose them to new experiences, it enriches their lives.” 

Aging in place is just one way to live a more vibrant life. But, whether at a personal home or a care facility, both experiences share a commonality: community and cultural experiences have the ability to engage older adults and enrich them, leading to more vibrant living for all.

Angela Higginbotham
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