Tag: Aging

In a new work supported by USA Triathlon (USAT), the governing body for triathlon and related multi-sport competitions, eighteen senior world champion triathletes offer bright-side strategies for minimizing frailties and maximizing possibilities for wellbeing, particularly exuberance, physical fitness, mental acuity, happiness and joy, meaning and relevance.

A treasure trove of 66 uncommon but plausible tips that, if practiced, should make life better (healthier), more enjoyable and more attractive. Not Dead Yet seeks to render getting older less daunting and more appealing for all who are, or want to be old someday, though not too soon!

Not Dead Yet provides what you must know about aging and thriving but may have been too polite or nervous to ask, not realizing that thriving at this stage of life was a realistic option. The focus of this work is upon positive, largely under-appreciated opportunities that can make the later years the best of times, by far. The humor and wit of the accomplished perennial triathletes, the eloquent words of Robert Green Ingersoll throughout and chapters on REAL wellness, frailty and death, meaning and purpose, epiphanies, fun, staying relevant and what’s left should appeal to readers of all ages.

The focus of Not Dead Yet is different from books on aging which overwhelmingly focus on medical advice oriented to frailties, illnesses and the looming presence of death, not successful adaptation to older age. The tips and other material in Not Dead Yet complement sound medical counsel, particularly with respect to the prevention of the usual difficulties, but the difference is dramatic because the focus goes beyond coping to exuberant living. Not Dead Yet tips represent an upbeat message; the commentaries do not focus on the dark side of aging. The participating champions don’t deny any of it, but they don’t dwell upon any of it, either.

While much valuable information about the difficult facts and dynamics of aging is common knowledge, the absence of the positive side of being in or near the retirement years tends to discourage older populations, not encourage positive actions that will improve health status. The emphasis in this book is on action – forward-moving attitudinal and behavioral advice.

In short, Not Dead Yet is wholly designed to foster proactive health-enhancing actions that add wellbeing and enjoyment beyond the absence of discomfort, limitations and suffering. The challenges of aging are well known, especially those dealing with negative changes physical and mental. The tips embrace the bright side of senior life, practical ways to bring a bit of Spring and Summer to the Fall of existence.

Readers will surely enjoy and act upon the words of wisdom from these senior champions and ponder their many recommended steps for success at aging. These writers want you to make the most of opportunities associated with being mature, wiser than ever and perhaps retired with more time to do what you want to do, with whom and when in ways you prefer to go about it. Elder life situations are rich with under-appreciated possibilities to do more while complaining and suffering less.

The ideas on aging comport with something the great American 19th century orator Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) said of happiness, namely, that the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here and the way to be happy is to make others so. While we cannot directly make others happy, we can and are seeking, with Not Dead Yet, to provide sparkling tips and commentaries that will brighten the time remaining for all readers. We believe we can do this to some extent by inciting action on the part of readers to do more that can readily be done to enjoy good health and happiness, love and joyful living in the time remaining.

Source by Donald Ardell

Many of our communities have been involved with Community Needs Assessments, Community Health Needs Assessments, Community Economic Development Plans, and ongoing planning for the built environment. All of these planning lenses are helpful ways to look at communities, and build for the future. One of the most important lenses to use for community planning for the next 10 to 20 years is the projected impact of aging on our communities, counties and states. What will is mean for a state to move from being 39th in proportion of older adults in 2010, to being 4th by 2030? What does it mean for a county to have a population shift that includes an increase of older adults by over 100% in the next 10 years, along with a projected reduction of people under 40 years old?

Understanding the Demographic Trend

The demographic trend has been called by many names, such as the "Age Wave," or "Silver Tsunami," with arguments in meetings and on blogs about whether those terms are helpful or pejorative, descriptive or ageist. In addition, some people find the terms "elderly" difficult, while others find "seniors" to be patronizing. Once people have dealt with parsing the grammatical minefield, then the most important issues are to understand both the demographic trend and other substantive factors.

Although a few in the field indicate that the aging of the population is rather slow and easily absorbed, the vast majority of experts agree that this is a significant, fast-moving trend that will not be easily absorbed. Research I've conducted has covered everything from future health professional shortages and health system gaps to the built environment, funding and policy trends. The potential impact of the aging of our population on communities and states is significant. It will require proactive, sustained responses at community, state and national levels.

Some communities and states are better positioned to respond to this trend than others.

Impact Also Depends on a Few Other Key Factors

The ability of groups to effectively respond depends upon a number of other key factors. Although the demographic trend is the primary issue, other important factors impacting our ability to respond include the following:

  • Overall community health;
  • Poverty levels, average and median incomes (especially for middle aged and elderly);
  • Local municipal budgets, economic ratings, and taxing capacity;
  • Legislation, policies, and funding related to both aging and community development;
  • Regional infrastructure and built environment.

The impact of the demographic trend is also shaped by the state of community and regional planning already in place to deal with the impact of aging upon our communities. Leadership and citizen engagement are also important factors that could help drive and mobilize initiatives. Leaders can and should respond. The issues are complex, but not overwhelming. However, they need to be addressed proactively.

How a Social Calculator can Predict the Potential Impact of Aging for Communities and States

Many of these factors have been analyzed by our team through a number of aging related research and planning projects over the past few years. We are now completing an Aging Social Impact Calculator that can provide an initial scan of the local environment, and the state environment. It looks at key factors that shape a county's or state's social, economic, and community health.

Research projects that I've recently completed demonstrate that the Social Determinants of Health, health rankings, economic benchmarks and policy issues either help communities and states to move forward, or serve as additional challenges.

Social Determinants . The Social Determinants shape us as individuals, families and communities. They include things such as family income, jobs, poverty and financial assets. Income, assets, poverty, and unemployment have been demonstrated to be some of the most important shapers of family and community health, health disparities, and health equity. Race and ethnicity have been seen as extremely important by the World Health Organization, US federal government bureaus, and the health research and funding community. Individual, family and community educational levels are also significant. Taken together, or aggregated, one finds community snapshots that reflect the local economy, jobs and poverty; racial and ethnic mix; and educational levels. They help to predict how our lives will be shaped in the future.

Community and State Health

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