By Cozette Eldridge

W.P. Co. Field Representative

What does aging gracefully mean to you? I believe aging gracefully is possible for all older people. It comes down to attitude, not what you look like or what activities you can or cannot do.

In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years old. And as recently as 1950, it was only 58 years old. For generations, most people with grey hair were considered old. Today that is no longer the case.

We can make our own rules now. We can grow old gracefully by choosing our own attitude and approach to change. Everyone is different. We all have unique challenges and strengths.

Many seniors say that one benefit of growing older is that they realize they don’t have to please anyone but themselves. No matter how you approach the inevitable changes that come with age, it’s important to feel good about yourself.

The senior years are a time to celebrate your accomplishments and the knowledge you’ve gained through experience. Don’t regret growing older.

Although we’re often surrounded by messages telling us that aging is a negative experience, it isn’t a bad thing. In fact, our overall happiness levels tend to rise with age.

One reason might be that we typically face fewer stressors related to work or relationships as we grow older. I believe we acquire a more balanced perspective through hard earned experiences.

Growing awareness of our own mortality may help us appreciate our lives more, instead of comparing our circumstances to others. It’s our attitude and connection to others that influence our satisfaction with our lives.

Lifestyle factors have the biggest impact on happiness levels, and how healthy we feel has a greater impact than whether or not we have health issues.

Our feelings about aging can play a big role in how we approach it. That’s one reason why many seniors don’t see themselves as old at all. “You’re only as old as you feel” may be a good guide to graceful aging.

Our ability to remain open to new experiences and to grow and change may also be a key component to aging with dignity. Under this approach, having strong social connections and pursuing fun activities are important components to graceful aging.

It isn’t necessary how well we hide the outward signs of growing older, but how we approach the activities in our daily lives that makes a difference.

SENIOR CENTER MENU

JAN. 28 – FEB. 1

MON. Ham/Cheese Egg Scramble, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Bread, Applesauce, OJ

TUES. Chicken Breast, Grilled Tomato Sauce/Noodles, Peas, Fruit

WED. Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Spinach, Bread, Mixed Fruit THUR. Pork Chop/Mushroom Gravy, Baked Potato/Sour Cream, Carrots, Salad, Fruit

FRI. Chicken Enchilada, Ranch Beans, Mexi-Corn, Buttermilk Salad/Mixed Fruit.