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Aging Gracefully

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Aging Gracefully

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  1. Aging Gracefully Connie Marsh MD Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

  2. To get back my youth, I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. Oscar Wilde 1891

  3. Typical American in 2012 • Over past 100 years • Stronger • Healthier • Taller • Living 30 years longer

  4. And in the end, it's not the years in your life that counts, but the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln

  5. Successful Aging • Freedom from disability and disease • High cognitive and physical functioning • Social engagement • Social and productive activities

  6. Centenarians • Personalities are highly resilient or robust • Extraversion • Emotional stability • Conscientious “I see the positive side of a situation.” “I keep busy.”

  7. Centenarians • More likely to • Not worry or be anxious • Rely on religious beliefs and acceptance • Take things a day at a time • Accept health problems • Be open • Be less sensitive

  8. In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual days of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, happy in small ways. Edith Wharton

  9. Aging Gracefully • Emotionally • Physically • Mentally • Spiritually

  10. Aging Gracefully Emotionally The bad news / good news Personality stays the same over time.

  11. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Emotional well being tends to improve in late adulthood • People develop better emotional regulation as a result of life experiences • People choose to be involved in more meaningful goals and activities • Awareness that “life is short”

  12. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Ageism

  13. Ageism • “To be over sixty-five in an age like ours is to feel bad even when we feel good.” • Useless • Unwanted • Incompetent • Frail Joan Chittister, The Gift of Years

  14. “It is a pathetic moment in the history of the human condition when the outside world tells us who and what we are—and we start to believe it ourselves.”

  15. “Ageism is a lie.” “The only way to counter it, however, is to refuse to allow it to taint our lives.”

  16. Maya Angelou

  17. Aging Gracefully Emotionally To name a few Letting go Sadness Limitations Regret Fear Adjustment Relationships Solitude Loneliness Forgiveness

  18. Aging Gracefully Emotionally Life circumstances that threaten well-being Loss of social self • Small group of people who provide sense of belonging • Closest, most meaningful relationships

  19. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Life circumstances that threaten well-being • Constant, unrelenting stress • Negative situations that don't allow time for recovery • Ex: chronic disability, caregiving Neurologic pathology

  20. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Improve by • Increasing social support • Transportation, telephone, computer • Maintain control • Shape your environment to achieve your goal • Make time for positive experiences • Experience positive emotions every day

  21. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Minimize stress and anxiety • Set realistic expectations • Exercise regularly • Prepare ahead • Take breaks throughout the day/change your routine • Learn to relax and do it regularly • Cut back on caffeine • Get enough sleep • Let yourself laugh • Talk about feelings Gary Small The Memory Bible

  22. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Be part of a social organization • Spend time with other people every day • Maintain ratio of three pleasant activities to one negative activity • Adapt, or adopt a new activity, if enjoyable activity can no longer be performed at same level • Seek help for depressive symptoms • Enhance the role of spirituality in your life Gary Small The Memory Bible

  23. Aging Gracefully Emotionally • Protective pathway of volunteering • Reduces depression, anxiety, stress • Increases feelings of usefulness, growth, fulfillment, self-respect • Protects against role loss and social isolation

  24. With passage of time, people are likely to encounter hardships and obstacles. Growth in wisdom does not depend on what we experience in life, but how we deal with difficult times. Wise persons see life crises and happiness as two sides of the same coin: living a full life Depp and Jeste, editors, Successful Cognitive and Emotional Aging

  25. Aging Gracefully Physically • Oldest Marathon Runner?

  26. Aging Gracefully Physically • Fauja Singh age 103 • Born in India, lives in Great Britain • Completed marathon in Hong Kong February 2013 • Started running age 89 • Has completed eight 26-mile marathons

  27. Aging Gracefully Physically Physical activity Related to decreased morbidity and mortality Prevents/treats many health conditions Decreases fall risk, improves recovery of physical limitations Decreased risk of dementia

  28. Aging Gracefully Physically • Physical activity • Decreased depression and anxiety • Higher rates of quality of life • Long term physical activity is related to • Post-poned disability • Longer independent living

  29. Aging Gracefully Physically • Barriers?

  30. Aging Gracefully Physically • American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association Guidelines • 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days weekly or vigorous 3 days weekly • Strength training exercises twice a week • 10 minutes of flexibilty work twice weekly • Balance training 3 days weekly

  31. Aging Gracefully Physically • Walking • Yoga • Tai Chi • Gentle mind body exercise appropriate for persons with impairments and physical limitations • Balance, strength, flexibility

  32. Aging Gracefully Physically

  33. Aging Gracefully Cognitively

  34. Aging Gracefully Cognitively • Michelangelo • Pieta Firenze (The Deposition) age 75 • Died age 88, sculpting 3 days before death • Monet • Water Lilies age mid 70s • Picasso • Chicago Picasso age 83 • Died age 91

  35. Aging Gracefully Cognitively The good news / bad news Normal aging brain • Decreased free recall memory • Decreased processing speed • Vocabulary and general knowledge unchanged or improves

  36. forgetfulness

  37. Aging Gracefully Cognitively Dementia is NOT normal aging Dementia risk increases with age

  38. Aging Gracefully Cognitively • Risk factor for Alzheimer's Dementia which may contribute to up to half the cases • Diabetes • High blood pressure • Obesity • Depression • Being sedentary • Smoking • Low education and lack of mental stimulation The Lancet Neurology

  39. Remember that cognitive changes can sometimes be mitigated by • taking one's time • using memory aids • having a healthy life style