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11.09.21 | Community

How to Age Gracefully

Aging is a unique experience that has no set rules or guidelines. Previously, we’ve explored how to embrace the process of aging and talked to Sage Collective Board Members about aging in place.

Contrary to what many presume, aging gracefully isn’t about transforming into your best physical self; instead, the transformation is focused on feeling and acting as your best self. Similar to our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, aging gracefully pulls from numerous principles that champion a joyful and enduring life. Here is Sage Collective’s advice for how to age gracefully and establish essential support as you become older:

Be Mindful

Mindfulness is a critical skill required to carry through life, as it helps you become more focused on the present and less on the future or the past. With time and practice, mindful thinking reduces stress, improves memory and heightens emotional responses. Meditation is one favored technique many use to train themselves in mindfulness. 

Get Involved in Things You Love

As we age, discovering a meaningful hobby helps maintain a sense of purpose and encourages engagement in life. Whether you find passion in participating in politics, mentoring others or engaging in faith-based services, evidence shows that people who engage in something they love experience greater happiness and a longer life. 

Connect With Others

Fostering a sense of connection with those by whom you are surrounded  helps enrich the process of aging. Families, friends and communities can serve as powerful resources with varying types of assistance. Genuine support systems have dramatic effects on your connection to your physical environment, which considerably affects the quality of your personal experience with aging.

Take Care of Your Body

One of the most crucial ways to age gracefully is by supporting your body’s health through actions such as nutritious eating, plentiful sleep and routine exercise. Actively caring for your body lowers the risk of numerous diseases and greatly improves balance and mobility.  

Don’t Forget About Your Mind

In addition to taking care of your body, tending to your mind and mental health can dramatically shift the aging process. Surrounding yourself with things and people you love boosts positive moods and fuels feelings of  prosperity. And while aging is a complex process, it can be a beautiful thing when embraced and celebrated.

Though inevitable, aging doesn’t have to be strenuous. Taking the time to learn how to age gracefully and successfully incorporating these tips into your life can have wonderful effects on your future.

Cropped shot of a senior woman holding a cane in a retirement home
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02.02.21 | Community

What We Mean When We Say “Older Adults”

You’ve probably noticed that at Sage Collective, we use the term older adults to describe our audience. But if you’ve ever wondered why exactly we use the term older adults, today we’ll take a closer look at the language and what it means to us.

Contentious debate surrounds the usage of alternative phrases like seniors, senior citizens, elders and elderly. For example, what do you think when you hear the word elderly? For most, it conjures images of someone frail and dependent. While one older adult could have health that renders them bedridden, another older adult could just as easily be ready to run a marathon. Weighted terms like elderly render such distinctions meaningless. 

Overall, the term elderly is outdated and ageist. The word has created a stereotype around aging that negatively influences the way older adults are perceived and therefore treated in our society. Consider too, the implications of words like seniors and senior citizens — we don’t call the younger generation juniors or junior citizens, right? 

Older adults aptly captures that this is indeed a population that is older — but without the hard underscore of the word old. Categorically, the phrase also leaves room for the many nuances of older adults’ varied experiences. There is no implication or preconceived notions of health, disposition, etc., attached; it’s simply a way of classifying an age group overall.

We also use the term older adults to celebrate the next chapter in aging adults’ lives. We believe that like any stage in life, older adulthood brings with it exciting and unique opportunities to learn, grow and thrive. The phrase brings with it a liberty and freedom for older adults to divine their own fate and lifestyle — and to embrace a life of vibrant living (if they should so choose). 

We want to hear from you too — what do you think of the term older adults? What does it mean to you? Let us know over at Sage Collective’s profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

An older adult woman holds a DSLR camera with a hooded zoom lens up to her face, in the act of taking a photo
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11.06.20 | Health & Wellness

Self Care for Seniors: What Is It, and How to Take Part

Have you heard of the latest millennial craze, self care? Young people all over are encouraging each other to get off of social media for a day, or to order in for the night and binge their favorite TV show, all things they’ve dubbed as acts of self care. 

While these acts may seem frivolous on the surface, they’re actually helping people to take a break from the media cycle, or to celebrate moments of rest. Self care, by definition, encourages people to consciously tend to their own well-being. But most surprisingly of all, this “new trend” isn’t new at all — in fact, it has deep roots and history in the medical field.

A Brief History

Self care began as a treatment course in the 1950s for patients who were mentally ill or elderly and struggled with autonomy. It included acts that helped preserve physical independence, such as simple exercising or personal grooming. This independence opened up the gateway for feeling better in many ways — physically, because patients were able to care for themselves, but also mentally, because independence was rewarding and satisfying.

From the mid 1960s to early 1970s, academics continued to pursue the idea further and how it might pertain to those in high risk professions, such as EMTs and social workers. The idea was that, in order to tend to your responsibilities to others, you need to first take care of yourself and replenish regularly through acts of self care. As Sage Collective’s own Rear Admiral (ret.) James M. Galloway said, “Taking care of yourself ensures you can take your best care of others.”

In the civil rights and feminist movements that followed this time, self care also become a revolutionary and radical act against varied forms of injustice, medical and otherwise. 

Self Care for Seniors Today

So how can seniors reclaim self care, and share in the joy that millennials have found? Our best advice: find what replenishes you, whether it’s physically, mentally or both.

When it comes to your physical health, incorporating moderate, regular physical activity will help replenish not just your body, but your spirit and your energy. Physical acts also include making conscious decisions to eat healthier, to get ample rest each night and to take time to relax. 

As for mental health, experts recommend spending more time in nature to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy natural sunlight. You can also reconnect with a new hobby, or even discover a new one. Dedicating time to activities that you enjoy and find satisfaction in is a great way to embrace the practice, too. And of course: spending time with those you love will always provide a much needed mental boost. 

So don’t be afraid of the trend — self care is for everyone. 

Self care expressed through love, with an older African American man and woman embracing and smiling
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