At Amintro, we talk a great deal about the joy of ageing – it’s just that we don’t really call it that. Instead we share plenty of information about healthy aging, travel, making new friends and so much more. But, at the core of our conversations, what we are really talking about is taking the “age” out of ageing and introducing instead, The Joy of Ageing! In fact, maybe we should write a book about it. After all, The Joy of Cooking and The Joy of….that other topic…..were certainly bestsellers! For now however, we’ll simply settle for penning this blog about finding the joy in ageing.
The month of October starts, significantly, with a celebration of ageing by recognizing October 1st as the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. Each year, the event is meant to honour older persons for their knowledge and wisdom, their resilience, to bring attention to, and a call to action about recognizing the rights of older adults. Significantly, it is meant to promote “policy dialogues to enhance the protection of older persons human rights.” (1) The theme for 2022 is recognizing the resilience and contributions of older women, a group particularly challenged and marginalized over these past several pandemic years. In choosing this theme, the UN is attempting to highlight the many contributions of women, while also addressing systemic inequities and seeking to correct discrimination based on age and gender that might also be compounded by “negative stereotypes that combine ageism and sexism.” (2) The timing is quite appropriate we believe, knowing that many of the older adults Amintro serves, were part of a wave of feminism in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s that advanced the role of women more significantly than perhaps any other generation before them. Talk about joy. These are the women who broke barriers, living life on their own terms and we’re pretty sure you’re not about to stop living that way now just because you’re “of a certain age!”
Amintro invites you to take the month of October to reflect and regroup. The frenzied activities of summer are behind us but the days are still warm enough to embrace nature, hike and bike and appreciate the bounty of fall colours. Patio weather is still an option – especially for lunch – and in one of the true joys of ageing, with the kids back in school and many folks working more regular hours, you won’t be jockeying for a position on the patio – it’s all yours! In fact, October is also an ideal time to travel, both locally and to destinations far and wide for this very reason. The weather in many parts of the world is still quite seasonable, and perhaps, even more enjoyable without the extreme heat of summer. Fewer tourists make the sites more accessible, less crowded and depending on your timing you might enjoy seasonal related discounts. As a general rule, airline travel drops significantly in September and October making it an ideal time to book a getaway after the busiest travel months of the year in June, July and August. Flying on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday is even better! If options to travel during beautiful weather and at better prices aren’t one of the joys of ageing – we don’t know what is!
Other reminders of things to be joyful about in the month of October include World Smile Day, Good Neighbour Day and for our Canadian readers – Thanksgiving. There’s even a scheduled International Coffee Day and fresh coffee is always a good reason to be joyful because it’s often over coffee that we share some of life’s most precious moments with our friends. That fits well with the very reason Amintro exists – we are your free, safe and informative platform, specifically intended to offer a place for mature adults to make new friends, live life well and connect with others both online and in person. Once you make those new friends, whether you live across the hall from one another in a retirement living community, a care facility or across town or across the country, here are some more tips and tools for embracing joy and taking the “age” out of ageing!
Four Ways To Embrace the JOY of Ageing:
1. A Positive Mental Mindset
Sure it’s a simple thing to say “have a positive attitude” but having one certainly is better than not having one! Rather than dwelling on what you “can’t do” reframe your mental messaging to say “I’m so happy I can still (fill in the blank.)” Whether it’s meeting friends for coffee, travelling, ticking items off your bucket list or spending a relaxing day fishing, kayaking, golfing or reading a good book – this is the time in your life you’ve earned and worked hard for – so focus on the fun, even if there are a few aches and pains or minor setbacks along the way.
2. Healthy Eating=Healthy Ageing
We all know that food is fuel and eating the right kinds of food helps the body and the mind to operate at optimal performance. Don’t worry, your favourite beverage, a dessert after a celebratory meal or a treat once in a while is fine but just remember to include plenty of healthy fruits and veggies in your diet; lean meat, some fish and drink plenty of water! One thing that has been shown in study after study is that as we age, we tend to drink less water and older adults can be more susceptible to dehydration.
3. Staying Active
We’ve a feeling we are “preaching to the choir” on this one because we already know that Amintronians are EngAGErs, EngAGEd in healthy, active living! EngAGEing in any activity from a simple 10,000 steps a day walking around your city, pedestrian paths or hiking through local trail systems, to taking part in marathons and ironman competitions, biking holidays or backpacking adventures, yoga retreats or mountain climbing, there really is nothing to stop us but for our own willpower. These days there are so many companies committed to accommodating older adult travel preferences, a plethora of sources offering senior-friendly wellness services and a world that is largely far more accessible than ever before, the truth is we’re all out of excuses. More older adults are entering the senior years after living healthy, active lifestyles throughout their lives and more products, services and companies are committing to helping those same individuals maintain that healthy, active lifestyle well into their 80’s and 90’s.
4. Read, Read, Read and then Read Some More!
An active mind is a healthy mind and one of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve is to invest in keeping your mind active along with your body! Read a book, a magazine, troll the internet for fascinating facts you can share with your friends, do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle, whatever it is – keep your mind active and engaged. Learn how to play chess or backgammon if you don’t know already, visit your local library regularly or download books to your phone or tablet so you can read “on the go.” Stay up to date on news and what’s happening in the community around you and embrace opportunities to do or learn something new as often as you can – maybe even with a new friend you’ve made the Amintro way.
Finding the JOY in ageing is really about removing any negative connotations about the word age from your vocabulary. Ageing is actually a gift denied to many. Joyfully ageing is about living a life with gratitude that you’ve achieved the milestone of being able to “stop and smell the roses” after working hard and perhaps also raising a family. The JOY of ageing is now living life on your terms, on your schedule and with your friends. Travel when you want, go camping in the off season when you’re not competing for tent space and spread out on the beaches because all the kids have gone back to school. This is YOUR time to shine. YOUR time to experience The Joy of Ageing!