With a global population that grows older each year, we find that our older people are tipping the scales when it comes to the number of older adults contributing to society. It is estimated that almost 46 percent of our population is age 60 and older, and with the significant contributions that many have made to our society and economic structure, we owe it to them to celebrate these accomplishments and cherish their wisdom.
If you are an older person, you can celebrate your achievements and contributions to society—and perhaps change a little of the stigma surrounding aging—–by taking small, actionable steps that reaffirm your value to the rest of society.
Ageism: A Barrier to Appreciation
Ageism is a type of discrimination that involves prejudice against people on the basis of age. It involves holding negative stereotypes about older adults that cause a negative impact on our relationships with them.
These stereotypes occur in relationships, in the workplace, and even in healthcare as older adults struggle to advocate for themselves despite adverse conditions that may affect them.
Despite a wealth of real-life experience and wisdom, it is hard to combat pervasive and false beliefs about older adults. They find themselves the target of discriminatory situations or may be passed over when it comes to job opportunities and promotions.
There are two key strategies to combat ageism.
- Educate the younger portion of our public about the value of an older adult’s life experience and to look for ways to find common ground regardless of age.
- Celebrate older adults and communicate to them just how important they are to our society.
Time to Celebrate!
It’s time to celebrate all that you are and all that you have done and will continue to do for the world around you. Take some time to appreciate yourself and bring awareness to the impact that older adults have on society.
1. Speak Out
Educate and inform and change public opinion one conversation at a time.
Speak out against ageism; let others know that discrimination of this nature is not okay, and change attitudes little by little as you bring awareness to the fact that these attitudes have a negative effect on everyone.
2. “Modernize” Your Workplace
If you are still working, bring your real-life expertise into your work and combine it with newer approaches to work. Take on some new technological responsibilities and stay abreast of the latest trainings to keep you relevant and an essential piece of your workplace. You can be the best of both worlds, where innovation meets inspiration and information!
3. Stay Active and Give Back!
Giving back to your community through volunteering lets you stay active and connect with the world around you. There are plenty of opportunities for volunteering your time and talents that make a significant impact on others. Search out those opportunities that fit you best and create a better world around you through your service to others.
4. Learn Something New
You’re never too old to learn something new. Now is the perfect time to take up a new hobby, study a foreign language, paint, draw, throw a pot or take up a musical instrument Learning and assimilating new types of information helps keep your brain active and resilient.
5. Connect with Others
Connecting with others of all ages will help you to stay relevant and mentally sharp. Don’t isolate, instead play with children, spend time talking with teens and young adults about their hopes and dreams, and learn to appreciate people in all stages of life. Your contributions will be noticed and welcomed as others begin to value their relationships with you.
6. Take Care of Yourself!
As you age, maintaining good physical health, eating right and exercising are critical to maintain and improve your quality of life. Eating a balanced diet of fresh produce, lean protein and whole grains will set the stage for steady activity that will keep muscles, bones, and joints fluid and flexible.
Get regular physical examinations to ensure that your lifestyle habits are serving you well and teach others around you the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. You are setting an important example for those younger than you that they, too, can emulate and take with them as they get older.
How a Medical Alert System Can Help
Signing up for continuous monitoring with a mobile medical alert system will give you the peace of mind to stay active and independent. With a GPS-enabled mobile Medical Alert system, you will feel confident knowing that, if needed, you can get help when and where you need it.