Proactive Health in Retirement: Episode 144

living healthy

Living Healthy in Retirement

I talked with Cassandra Hill, who is a gerontologist and a certified wellness coach. She started out working with seniors in long-term care and assisted living and enjoyed her time. The health of the seniors she worked with declined to a point that their quality of life was limited. This gave her the passion to work with seniors and give them a better quality of life.

In this episode, Cassandra enlightens us on how to age properly and the things that we should do to live out our senior years in peace and confidence.

Cassandra tells us that the baby boomers are in their retirement age and they need to be proactive about aging. She has served seniors living at home, in a skilled nursing, assisted living, and also in hospice. She ensures that their emotional health is also taken care of so that they are in a good mental state. Their wellbeing is not only important to them, but also for their loved ones and family members.

Our body and mind are interwoven and often mental stress can lead to physical symptoms and even cause illness. It is necessary to take care of both in order to live a comfortable life.

Concerns about aging

I ask Cassandra to tell us more about the concerns of aging and growing old. She states that the primary concern of seniors she works with is finances. Having the means necessary to live and fear of outliving their money. Many people have not bought long-term insurance or didn't save enough to go through retirement. With the advance in medical science, people are living longer but with chronic illness.

Such people need to apply for government insurance like Medicaid immediately, which can cover long-term care depending on your circumstances. The insurance also pays for meals or any medical expenses including that of a nurse. Some states also offer the PACE program for seniors which are all-inclusive programs that come helpful in the golden years.

Cassandra is now focusing on people who are yet to retire so that she can work with them and help them save enough for retirement. She also feels that the retirement system in the country should change otherwise future generations won't be able to support them.

Living Healthy

I presented Cassandra a hypothetical situation of a 62-year-old woman who has to take care of her kids and also has to check in on her parents.  Doing things for her parents such as occasionally buying groceries and other things for them. I ask Cassandra what suggestion she would give to such a woman.

Cassandra says that this woman should first take care of herself otherwise she won't be able to care for others. She should go for a routine check-up at least once every 6 months. She also advises her to take self-care measurements and get the finances sorted. She suggests getting some form of pension and gets a retirement plan while making some cutbacks in her lifestyle. Her kids can also apply for education loans to take some burden off her shoulders.

For a 62-year-old woman living independently, Cassandra advises her to develop healthy habits or should practice living healthy. She should also exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day to increase her heart rate. To avoid feelings of isolation, she should join some community such as YMCA and interact with people who share the same interests.

Advice from Cassandra

Cassandra also gives out words of wisdom who want to be proactive about their aging. She tells us to invite an Aging in Home designer who can come and assess your house. They can suggest a number of changes which might help you in living healthy and happy for a long time. Such considerations include putting slides in the shower, taking up rugs and so on. Talking on the subject it turns out that falls are really common with senior people. Most of the falls happen in the bathroom facilitated by factors such as water and slippery floors. The kitchen is another place which might prove to be hazardous in your old age.

You can make your house suitable for living and reduce the chances of mishaps. Such measures include putting a grab handle in the shower so that you can save yourself from falling.

If you want more tips about the science of aging, you can visit Cassandrahill.com and also check out her Facebook page Live Health for Life.

Connect with Cassandra:

This post about retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Aging Consciously: Episode 124

aging consciouslyAging Consciously what does it mean?

Aging consciously is aging with intention, aging with a sense of purpose and aging with a with a real commitment to grow into becoming one of the very best in this third stage or third chapter of life that Ron often calls “elderhood”. Ron thinks you could contrast aging consciously with this kind of drifting into getting old. Believing that with retirement or with retirement age, the best years are behind you. Your years of contribution and making a difference are behind you. Believing that it's kind of a matter of hanging on as best one can and hope for the best.

It's incredibly enlivening. Aging consciously is supportive of the health of body, mind and spirit. If you have a real sense of purpose in aging and is intentional about moving toward that.

Ron believes that baby boomers are going to be the driving force in creating an empowering vision for aging. He thinks baby boomers are playing the lead role in helping our society see that our third chapter can be an incredible time for us as individuals.

Many of us speak about conscious aging or conscious elders but in a lot of different ways and from a lot of different quarters empowered, vision is emerging. Most of us think that people become irrelevant or marginalized after they passed retirement age. We need the wisdom and the gift of wise elders. Ron is doing his best to promote that kind of understanding. In Ron's perfect world, there would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older. And that responsibility is to continue to grow and to develop themselves so that they can serve as a model for younger people. This is for the younger people to see that growing old can be something wonderful and not something to dread.

What would a perfect world look like to Ron in regards to aging consciously and supporting our elders?

There would be a societal understanding that older adults have a lifetime a wealth of experience and wisdom that they can contribute. There would be an understanding that there's a responsibility that comes with getting older and that responsibility is to continue to grow. It would be great if younger can see that growing old can be something wonderful. It's not something to dread. It's a stage of life that can be full of fulfillment and meaning. In Ron's ideal world the role of elder is going to be reestablished.

Traditional elders around the world have made a commitment to grow and to serve. He said they make a difference until their dying day. Today, more and more people are claiming that role. In Ron's ideal world, the elder is going to be an honored role and all of us as a society is going to honor that role. When people retire, they will not see it as an opportunity to play around but they're going to see it as a chance to grow and make a difference. It might also be about developing parts of ourselves that maybe we haven't had a chance to develop prior to retirement age.

Isolation is absolutely deadly. Emotionally, physically and spiritually

Just about a year ago AARP and several other aging organizations released the results of a major study. They interviewed thousands of Americans over age 50. They found that the majority of Americans view aging as primarily defined by loss, decline, diminishment, marginalization, and isolation.

If that is the image that we're surrounded with and that we live in, then it's inevitable that many of us to some extent or other are going to have internalized a lot of those kind of beliefs.

I asked Ron what are some actionable items we can take to change this view?

  1. Take a look at the beliefs we carry about our aging
  2. We must have a sense of purpose and look for a reason to get up every day that is bigger than ourselves
  3. The vital importance of Community. It is really important for us to find meaning in our community.

Aging consciously oftentimes that requires stretching beyond our comfort zones. aging consciously

 A little background about Ron Pevny:

Ron Pevny, M.A., has for forty years been dedicated to assisting people in negotiating life transitions as they create lives of purpose and passion. He is Founding Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, based in Durango, Colorado. It is dedicated to supporting the development of conscious elders by offering Choosing Conscious Elderhood retreats and introductory workshops at retreat centers across North America. It is for those in and approaching that period of life, sometimes called “The Third Age,” who hear the call to age consciously.

Ron is the author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging: embrace and savor your next chapterpublished in 2014 by Beyond Words/Atria Books. He is also a Certified Sage-ing® Leader and was the creator and administrator of the former twelve-organization Conscious Aging Alliance. He has served as the host/interviewer for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Transforming Aging Summits presented by The Shift Network.

The Center for Conscious Eldering

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