Forever Young: How a Positive Outlook on Aging Can Benefit You

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“Age is nothing but a number.”

“You’re only as old as you feel.”

“Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.”

Chances are, you’ve heard at least one of these sayings before, but did you ever stop and think that there just might be some truth behind them? In our age-obsessed culture, it can be difficult to see the natural process of aging as something positive. However, by reframing the way you look at growing older, it’s possible to stay feeling better and healthier for longer. In this article, we’ll explore the mind-body connection between aging and health and discover how to increase your chances of maintaining a happy, healthy life well into your golden years.

You’re Not Getting Old—You’re Leveling Up!

One of the best things about getting older is gaining fresh perspective and understanding about who you are. You’ve lived long enough to understand what’s important, and you have the life experience to know how to deal with challenges and obstacles as they come along. Now it’s time to apply those hard-earned life lessons by opening yourself up to change and reframing the way you look at common life transitions, such as retirement and children leaving home, as the beginning of a new chapter.

Instead of dreading what’s to come, try imagining the possibilities that await you: more time for hobbies, new friends, travel, volunteering or anything else you’ve always wanted to try. By thinking of this new stage as leveling up, you can focus on all the wonderful things that are still ahead.

Adjust Your Aging Attitude

Thanks to our cultural preoccupation with youth and beauty, it can sometimes be hard not to be afraid of growing older and all that comes with it. When people think of aging, they often go straight to the bad stuff: an increased possibility of chronic illness, feelings of loneliness and isolation and a heightened potential for Alzheimer’s, dementia or another condition that causes them to forget the people and things they love most.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Recent research has shown that people with more positive attitudes about growing old tend to live longer and lead healthier lives than those with negative thoughts about aging.[1] A study by Duke University found that having a positive attitude toward aging can reduce your risk of developing dementia by up to 40%.[2]

That’s not all—social isolation and loneliness can be common experiences for older adults and is one example of what a Medicare primary care physician might refer to as social determinants of health. These are the environmental or lifestyle barriers that can negatively impact an individual’s health and quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social isolation and loneliness can put people at a 50% higher risk of developing dementia, not to mention a 32% higher risk of stroke.[3]

You can help keep loneliness at bay by joining a social group that shares your interests, such as a book club, dance fitness class or pickleball team. Activities like these can have a positive impact on your health and well-being as you age. Be sure to speak with your Medicare value-based care provider or an ilumed case manager for information about resources in your area that can help you. Find out more about how social connections and relationships can help improve your health here.

Healthy Choices Today, Healthier Future Tomorrow

You already know that eating healthy food, exercising regularly and visiting the doctor for annual physical examinations and health screenings is important. As we age, it becomes even more essential to prioritize our health and well-being. According to the National Institute on Aging, making healthy food choices, staying active, getting enough sleep and proactively managing your healthcare can go a long way toward improving the chances of maintaining optimal health as you age.[1]

Patients of value-based care providers who work with ilumed tend to see their Medicare primary care physician on a quarterly basis, rather than just once a year. Because of this, they receive more support from their providers with their nutrition and fitness goals, along with help creating a healthy lifestyle plan that best supports their health needs and lifestyle choices.

Final Thoughts

Getting older doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it’s all in how you look at it. By taking steps now to ensure a healthy, positive outlook on aging, you can look forward to an increased potential for good health and happiness for years to come. Learn more about how ilumed works with value-based providers to help advance their patients’ everyday health here.





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