“Healthy aging” is often viewed in the context of increasing physical activity, eating a nutritious diet and seeing a doctor regularly. But for the creators of Healthy Aging Month, it is so much more than that. Aging well means stepping out of your comfort zone to not just survive, but thrive.
September is Healthy Aging Month, an annual observance created to bring awareness to the positive aspects of aging. Special events associated with Healthy Aging Month encourage adults over the age of 45 to take responsibility for their physical, emotional, financial and social wellbeing.
Aging Well includes Reducing Falls
Along with Healthy Aging Month, September is a time to increase awareness of the dangers that falls pose for older adults. Sept. 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging.
Falls represent one of the top reasons older adults visit emergency rooms and are a significant cause of head injuries and hip fractures. The theme for this year’s events — marking the 10th observance of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day — is “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.”
The theme is intended to encourage older adults, their family members, care partners and aging professionals to work together to promote awareness of ways to prevent falls.
Moving Past Aging Myths
The designation of September as Healthy Aging Month is no accident; it’s designed to take advantage of the nostalgia around going “back to school” and the innate longing many people have for continuing to grow and learn throughout life.
A central tenet of the month is that it’s never too late to change the way in which you age, taking control of your health and your future. By rejecting the stereotype that aging equates to decline, stagnation or a resistance to change, older adults can embrace new experiences that help them continue to thrive as they age.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone for Healthy Aging
What are some specific ways you can move past your personal boundaries to embrace the positive attributes of the aging process? The truth is you’re never too old to find a new hobby, new friends and new things to be passionate about.
Consider some areas of your life that you think can improve or new areas you’d like to explore. Do you want to improve your physical wellness? Take a class? Get out and socialize more? There’s no time like the present, and Healthy Aging Month presents the perfect opportunity to dive in and embrace the unknown.