Today, we are living longer and healthier than ever before. Undoubtedly all of us want to live our lives to the fullest and reach our full potential. Vibrant living is all about perspective. To reimagine something can mean a lot of things. To the dictionary, it means to rethink or reinterpret. To us at Optima Living, the most important of the word is “imagine”: imagine a new vision, imagine a new future, imagine a new understanding of what’s possible.
In our Reimagine Ageing webinar, Dr. Adrian Wagg—our knowledge partner at the University of Alberta—explains that to reimagine ageing, the perspectives of individuals, communities, and society must shift. Ageing is seen as a disadvantage and is feared for health and mental decline. However, ageing does not have to be thought of in a negative manner; we can imaginatively rethink and reinterpret what it means to be a senior.
Thanks to technology and advances in medicine, people are living longer, are healthier, and are able to fully enjoy new experiences at any age. Senior life does not mean resting and stopping, as it may have in the past. More people than ever are working beyond the traditional “retirement age” of 65, out of both necessity and desire.
Physiologically, people are staying healthier for longer, too. Dr. Wagg explains that individuals are roughly 10 years younger in health when compared to the generations of the mid-twentieth century. With more youth and health, there is much to enjoy in senior years!
Senior life is not a time to regret missed opportunities or things that have passed. It’s a vibrant time full of new opportunities, endeavours, hobbies, and experiences! Dr. Wagg encourages seniors to change their frame of mind and begin dreaming again. He suggests individuals view senior life as a time to reinvent themselves, to identify a new sense of purpose, and to think about everything they can achieve.
Mental health is at the foundation of reimagined senior life. A positive mental attitude is connected to improved quality of life and has many positive effects on health, well-being, and offsetting depression. Dr. Wagg suggests having physical, intellectual, and community engagement to stimulate brain health. Interacting with others not only improves our mood as we socialize, but it can also positively affect quality of life and encourage engagement in hobbies, exercise, and a healthy nutritional intake. At Optima Living, we prioritize the mental health of all of our residents and ensure all of these things are easily accessible.
Technology like smartphones is here to stay. One of the many positive benefits of technology is access to health information and professionals. More and more seniors are technologically-savvy or have relatives who can use technology to advocate for their health. As a physician, Dr. Wagg explains that with the advance in technology and medicine, seniors have greater expectations from medical professionals, leading to greater longevity and more proactive health measures. These seniors are acting as their own health advocates. As we have truly seen over the past year, technology has also made it possible to stay connected with loved ones.
Consider how you and your loved ones view senior life. At Optima Living, we believe it should be welcomed with open arms. Senior life is an opportunity to discover just how excited, vibrant, and active life can be.
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