Age is just a number...
Age is just a number…

How old are you?  Loaded question, right?  But the bigger question for many people these days:  How  how old do you feel? The definitions of “old” and “elderly” are shifting, and there is almost a backlash against the terms in both social and scientific circles. When National Public Radio ran a story some time ago about a 71-year-old midwife that they described as “elderly,” readers were irate. Among the comments,  “She’s 71 and delivering babies…There’s nothing elderly about her.”

The Pew Research Center reported a few years ago that most adults age 50 feel at least 10 years younger than their actual age. One-third of those between 65 and 74 said they felt 10 to 19 years younger, and one-sixth of people 75 and older said they felt two decades younger.

The truth is no one, whatever his or her age, likes to think of themselves as old, and in 2014 it appears there is no reason to. In my work with men and women who are struggling to maintain their independence, I am inspired by their tenacity, inner strength, and love of life.  They convince me every day that age has nothing to do with a number or the year you were born, but more to do with how you act, think, and enjoy every single day.

Whether you are 25 or 75, don’t fall into the old trap.  Embrace who you are and where you are in life. Equally important, embrace friends and acquaintances of all ages.   And try taking a few suggestions from my clients:

•  Stop talking about your aches and pains.  Instead talk about politics, hobbies, pets and long-term projects.
• Keep current. That holds true with hairstyles, dress and staying informed on current events.
• Stay engaged and move outside your comfort zone.  Try new activities, volunteer commitments and hobbies.
• Lose the pessimism.   You will attract more friends and associates with a positive attitude.

Start your age-blind attitude today, and celebrate–rather than dread–your next birthday.

Lisa Vogel is the owner of The Lisa Vogel Agency, a home health care agency providing custodial care on a live-in or hourly basis for clients who require long-term care, rehabilitation care, or hospice care. If you have questions about how home health care providers can work with Alzheimer’s patients in your family, call The Lisa Vogel Agency at 410-363-7770.



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