Embracing the Truth of Aging: Challenges & Solutions (adapted from LeadingAge New York)

Aging is a simple reality and truth, even if it may not be a pleasant thing for all of us to think about. Just as change and growth are inevitable aspects of life, so too is the process of aging. Instead of “aging” being a word that so many fear or deem undesirable, perhaps it is time we embrace the word and all the positives that come with it.

Aging means we get to keep living. It means more time in the human experience, building memories with loved ones, sharing stories, connecting with friends old and new, learning and practicing a new hobby or activity, helping our community and so much more.

Of course, aging also involves some harder-to-accept truths outside of our control. It can, at times, involve unwelcome changes, such as reduced mobility and energy or change in appearance. Because of these harder-to-accept realities, we tend to shy away from it entirely, and even deny its looming presence in our lives and the lives of the people we love.

The good news is we get to choose how we age and how we view it. We get to influence what that process will look and feel like in our own bodies and daily lives. We get to support what aging can be like for the people we love most.

We get to decide: is the glass half-full or half-empty? Will we accept that we are aging, embrace it, and plan for it accordingly? Or will we deny it, kicking the can down the road…

I say: let’s keep leading our own lives in the face of aging! Let’s keep leading life in ways that help us maintain our physical and mental health, strength, and independence. Embracing aging and considering the help we may someday need, can actually allow us to live happier, easier, fuller lives – creating even more potential to keep growing and moving forward.

More and more, adults across the U.S. are living well into our eighth or ninth decade of life, and seven in 10 will need some form of long-term care – on top of the support we receive from our families and friends. Options exist, but aren’t well understood. There are more quality choices to help us as we age than we may realize – from extra help around the house to communities offering specialized services.

Fortunately, here in New York, there is a full continuum of long-term care and aging services to help us and our families keep leading life. Here at Friendly Senior Living, we offer a continuum of caring communities. Cloverwood and Linden Knoll are options for independent senior living. Glenmere offers assisted living and memory care. At the Friendly Home, 24-hour long-term skilled nursing care is provided, as well as rehabilitation services, memory care and hospice care.

There are hundreds of non-profit and mission-driven aging services providers across New York that can provide just the help you and your family may need. It’s great to learn about them, even before you or a family member may need them. Below is a description of many of the aging services options that are available to you. Click here to find a provider near you that might meet your current or future needs, the needs and desires of your loved ones, or just help you plan ahead for what you’d like your aging experience to look like.

If we embrace the inevitable truths of life, we get to walk alongside them, embracing life itself more fully. We are all aging, growing, and changing. It is up to us to decide how we will keep leading life.

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