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Marjorie P. Lee Senior Living Blog

How to Help A Loved One Keep a Positive Attitude About Aging

 

Aging is inevitable. No one ever said it was easy.

As our senior loved ones' bodies and minds naturally change, it can be tough for them to accept that they need extra help from us, that they can't be as independent and in control as they used to be, that a partner or friend is gone, or that their own physical end is — if not close — at least on the horizon.

Sounds depressing, doesn't it? Now, imagine you're the senior in whose head these thoughts swirl.

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What You Need to Know About the Stages of Aging

 

For seniors, healthy aging isn't just dependent upon their physical health. It's also dependent on their maintaining positive attitudes about aging. And, to do that, it's helpful for them — and for family caregivers like you — to understand the stages of aging.

Like earlier phases in our lives, senior adulthood isn't well-described by one stage. Most 60-year-olds' needs are different from those of most 75-year-olds' needs, and still more different from those of most 90-year-olds.

Today, let's examine the stages of aging so that you can help your loved one anticipate his or her changing needs, prepare for them and age positively.

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How Families & Seniors Can Keep Love Alive as Memories Fade

 

Age-related memory loss is disconcerting enough. Memory loss due to Alzheimer's or other dementia disorders is just plain devastating. And either is a source of heartbreak for seniors, their partners and spouses and their families.

Memory loss doesn't end relationships. An elder might not be able to remember all the good moments you've had together over the years, and might not be able to form new, lasting memories, but there are certainly good times still to be had.

Still, it's a difficult thing for seniors and their partners or caregivers to grapple with. So, today, with Valentine's Day approaching, let's talk about what families and seniors living in Cincinnati and elsewhere can do to keep love alive, even as memories fade.

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What is the Psychology of Positive Aging?

 

"Think positive, and you'll feel positive," many positive aging experts say.

We can observe it here in seniors living at Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community: when elders maintain a positive outlook on life, they tend live longer. They report feeling more fulfilled and having a sense of purpose. And we can see it in the literature, too.

It sounds trite, but it's true, at least to a certain degree. And that's really what the positive aging movement (which we'll explore in-depth at the upcoming Refresh Your Soul conference in March) is all about.

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What Are the Signs of "Normal" Aging vs. “Abnormal” Aging?

 

Greying and thinning hair. Reduced sight and reduced hearing. Bones becoming more brittle and joints becoming stiff and sore. Receding gums and loose teeth. These are all processes we consider a normal part of aging. And many seniors in Cincinnati deal with them every day.

But what about abnormal aging? Are there warning signs that could show us when Mom or Dad's health isn't what it should be at their age?

There are. And today, we'd like to take a moment to discuss them, so that you'll know what to look for...and when to intervene.

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