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The Bluestem Post

Getting real about aging

Aging is one of the most natural life processes. By definition, every person of every age is in a constant state of “aging.” However, talking about aging with those who are experiencing it most acutely can sometimes be a sensitive subject. Being honest about how you experience aging with yourself and those who care about you most can alleviate stress and extend the time you are able to live independently. 

Be honest about the aging process. As we get older, our bodies and physical needs change. Don’t be ashamed about the ways your body may feel or perform differently than what you have been used to. 

Have conversations about your needs and preferences. Share with loved ones, friends and support systems about the things you need to be at your best. This can include health, diet and social habits. To determine what your needs and preferences might be, consider what you like about your current lifestyle or what daily activities bring you happiness and fulfillment. 

Have a plan for various scenarios. You don’t always control how aging affects you. Make a list of “what if” scenarios and an action plan for dealing with each of those scenarios. For example, if you become incapable of making your own decisions, who will take care of you? This will ensure that your loved ones know what your wishes are even if you are no longer able to communicate about them. 

Focus on what you can do. Don’t become discouraged if you are no longer able to do some of the things you did when you were younger. Instead, find the positives of life and focus on the things that you love that you are able to do. Let other people know what brings you joy so they can help foster those things for you as well. 

Widen your circle of support. It’s common to think that you only need to rely on one person to walk with you through the aging process. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on one person. What happens if something were to happen to them? Build a well-rounded circle of support through family, friends, your faith community and social connections who can help you physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. 

Prioritize your needs. You may feel like you’re being a burden on your loved ones if you ask for help, but you must be honest with yourself and remember that we all need help sometimes. Reach out to those you trust to help with specific things like taking you to appointments or getting groceries. Also remember that living at Bluestem Communities offers you respite from home maintenance responsibilities from the smallest tasks of changing a lightbulb to yard maintenance and more.

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