As older adults let the idea of greater longevity sink in, living a meaningful and healthy older age becomes more important. And accepting what may not change (like needing hearing aids) and learning what can be modified with lifestyle is exciting for seniors who embrace a growth mindset.
Research by George Church, a profession of genetics at Harvard University, suggests that there is no upper limit to human age if scientists are able to edit out aging genes. Life expectancy has increased over the past 100 years by nearly 60 percent and is expected to continue to rise. Older adults are increasingly overcoming the physical challenges of aging, with the help of medical advances, and staying mentally engaged by learning new things, making a contribution to their communities and avoiding social isolation.
And with greater longevity, older adults have more time than their parents or grandparents to make a lasting contribution to society and impact the state of humanity. Rather than reaching 60 or 70 and thinking, “it’s all downhill from here on”, more seniors are embracing their own true path, accepting new challenges and making time for meaningful social relationships; living every moment to it’s fullest.
Because the brain, even in older age, is able to change and develop, older adults may indeed be wiser. According to Harvard Health, some cognitive functions may weaken with age, while others operate better. Older adults are able to make connections, see the big picture and understand the greater implications of an issue. “Senior moments”, or small lapses in memory, may be related to age but can also be associated with chronic health problems, medications, vision or hearing problems, depression or poor sleep. Talk with your doctor if you are experiencing memory problems beyond the normal searching for the right word, misplacing your car keys or having trouble focusing on a conversation in a noisy restaurant.
Other than adjusting to physical changes that come along with age, older adults living today have plenty to look forward to and more time to focus on doing the things that give their lives meaning, joy and fulfillment. There is no age limit on seizing the day!