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Far too often, we hear about the negative side of the aging process—but we don’t always talk about quality of life for seniors and how joyful, beautiful, and meaningful growing old can be. As you prepare for the golden years of retirement, maintaining a high quality of life is essential to keeping your truest self vibrant and fulfilled.
Ultimately, quality of life is a deeply personal and subjective measure of someone’s well-being. The World Health Organization, for instance, defines quality of life as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns.”
While a somewhat vague definition, one way of thinking about how to improve quality of life for seniors, is to consider what aspects of your life are most important to you—and which elements are vital to your sense of self as you age.
Successful aging, a concept originally developed by authors and physicians John Rowe and Robert Louis Kahn in the 1990s, was defined as a combination of three key components:
While this definition is widely accepted, what it means to age successfully remains somewhat murky and confusing. A 2010 study reviewed 28 studies in an attempt to determine a unified definition of what successful aging meant—but no universal consensus was found. Although physical function and lack of disability were present in nearly every definition, the other elements were all dissimilar.
Ultimately, how to age successfully has never been—and never will be—a one-size-fits-all approach. Improving and maintaining quality of life for seniors is highly unique to each individual and is best understood as such.
Although successful aging and quality of life are influenced by genetic and environmental health factors as well as the natural aging process, they’re also directly impacted by factors within our control, including diet and nutrition, exercise, social life, and mental wellness.
There are three main keys to successful aging that apply to seniors of all backgrounds: Physical, mental, and social health.
Although there’s never a guarantee when it comes to physical health, there’s an array of preventative steps and preparing for aging seniors can take to ensure optimal health. From proper nutrition to ongoing exercise, here are some tips to prioritize your physical health in preparation for aging.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being
It’s no secret that your mental well-being has a powerful effect on your physical health. For decades, popular thought believed that as we age, we begin to lose brain cells. A 2018 study debunked this theory—and found that the brains of older adults were capable of making the same number of new neurons. Here are some of our favorite tips for keeping your brain sharp and stimulated:
Finally, connecting with others is one of the most important elements of successful aging. Individuals who remain engaged with their social relationships experienced a 70% lower rate of cognitive decline, according to a 2011 study.
Everdays assists young seniors like you across the United States with how to prepare for aging, strategies for successful aging, and making a plan for the future—so you can make the most of your golden years and maintain a high quality of life. With Everdays, we’ll provide successful aging resources and help you prepare for your retirement in advance, so you won’t have to worry about future expenses or stressful surprises. Plus, we’ll help you navigate important decisions about your health, long-term care needs, and your final wishes with ease.
Peace of mind is one of the best gifts you can give—both to yourself and to your loved ones. When you set up your free account on Everdays, our friendly Bot Eva will guide you through a planning process that will carry you into the future. Once your plan is squared away, you can give loved ones digital access to your decisions so they know what’s most important to you, too.