We all have at least a vague idea of how our lives should look like. Most goals we set for ourselves are short- or mid-term. A long-range game plan or grand design is much harder to follow. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a closer look at what’s in the cards for us from time to time.
In our busy lives, distractions are ubiquitous and nearly impossible to avoid. Most of us are in fact used to juggling several chores at once – a.k.a. multitasking – day in and day out. It has become so much part of us that it almost feels strange to dwell on just one subject matter for too long. Unfortunately, there is a price to be paid for all this. Studies have shown that the brain actually suffers from being pulled in too many different directions.
The brains of highly creative and inquisitive individuals like artists and scientists often continue to perform at a high level as they get older, and may even keep improving instead of declining, as one would expect. While not everyone is creatively inclined or artistically talented, anything that enhances the quality of a person’s life is worthwhile pursuing.
When you grew up, your parents or teachers probably told you to sit and stand straight, instead of slouching your back and shoulders. They themselves may not have exactly known why that was important, it just seemed that way. But more recent science has found that they were actually right in many more ways than they imagined. As it turns out, good posture enhances physical fitness, helps reduce stress, and contributes to healthy aging.
Life in our senior years is as complex as at any other time. We continue to have goals to pursue and routines to maintain, although they may seem different now, and perhaps unfold at a slower pace. And while loss of abilities is a natural part of aging, we don’t have to hasten the process by being negligent. This includes every part of our existence, not the least the way we look and present ourselves to the outside world. Yes, I’m talking about such ‘frivolous’ things as fashion and style.
Over the past 200 years the average human life expectancy has doubled, and some experts say that our longevity has not even reached its peak yet. They are not talking about the distant future. In fact, the first person to live to a 150 may already have been born. Being able to extend life is a great success, especially when it comes with a reasonably high quality of life. But simply adding years of sickness, frailty and decline is not a very appealing prospect.
Loss of independence can happen suddenly through a catastrophic event or insidiously through natural decline. But most seniors don’t prepare well for either. They believe they can stay in their home indefinitely and take care of themselves, even if that means to struggle on their own. Thankfully, there is assistance available that enables people to have both, remaining reasonably independent and being cared for to the extent it is needed.