21st Sep 2016
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Kaye’s podcast on ageing positively
Author: Kaye Fallick
Kaye’s podcast on ageing positively

Last Friday, YourLifeChoices publisher, Kaye, spoke to Sunil Badami on ABC Overnights about living longer, fears around ageing and how to make the transition fun. Here, Kaye offers her advice on how to challenge age with positivity.

Given that we’re all living longer these days, how can we keep engaged with life and stay curious and active? How do we combat some of the fears we may have around getting older?

It is useful to realise that societies all around the world are experiencing a dramatic surge in the number of older citizens moving into the life stage that we call retirement. But the ground rules for this life stage have changed a lot – we no longer have just one job in our lives, we’re expected to work longer, and are generally not financially prepared for this increased longevity. More to the point, the risk of funding our retirements has been shifting from governments or companies offering defined benefit pensions onto the shoulders of individuals themselves. For many people it can feel confusing or frightening – a time of loss and worry rather than contentment and fulfilment. So how can individuals confront older age in a positive manner?

Listen to Kaye’s full interview here.

Here are fives ways to maintain energy and enthusiasm as you get older:

1. Don’t resist change
Most people dislike change. However, we can manage this by embracing gradual transitions, where possible.

2. Adopt an ‘age-neutral’ approach
If we all embrace all ages and stop thinking of our generations as different (i.e. stop accepting glib generalisations) we can free ourselves up to have friends of all ages, who keep us ‘young’ and add value and fun.

3. Maintain a sense of purpose
In younger years, this can be primarily career driven, but in addition to work projects, purpose can include family, mentoring, volunteering, learning, hobbies or social and policital causes.

4. Maintain or embrace a realistic and philosophical approach
Bad things happen to all of us. Growing older shouldn’t be considered one of them. Why not try exploring mindfulness or meditation to remain grounded and grateful for what you have, as opposed to what you have not. Listing five things you’re grateful for each day is a really positive way to stay optimistic.

5. Money matters but health matters more
If there is time, it helps to start saving earlier so that your later years are sufficiently financially cushioned against unexpected hardship. This is not possible for everyone but financial wellbeing does increase our choice and independence. However, health is much more important than money – and it is lifestyle choices that may kill you, regardless of your wealth.

How do you approach ageing with grace? Do you agree with this advice?

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    COMMENTS

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    Dancer
    22nd Sep 2016
    2:19pm
    I agree with all the points in this article. One simple way that "women of a certain age" can age (dis)gracefully with like-minded women is to join a chapter of the Red Hat Society. This ensures that we continue to have fun, enjoy life and good company, and most importantly we don't become invisible as we age. Red hatting keeps us young, healthy, and socially engaged in a safe way.
    Rae
    22nd Sep 2016
    2:48pm
    Yes I agree fully with your advice Kaye. Health is so important and the other aspects you mention help to aid health.

    Although defined benefit pensions help to remove market risk they came at a huge cost to the member of the fund. That is rarely acknowledged possibly due to few people actually understanding how they worked and what they cost the individual.
    It would make a good article at some point.
    Zen
    22nd Sep 2016
    6:48pm
    I know that I get better with every year I get older, so there's no way I want to be younger!!!
    When we start seeing these later years as having potential and opportunity to continue to grow and develop and contribute to others., we might see some changes. The problem as I see it is our society does not value older people - they serve no 'useful' social role in society ... only people who are productive, who CONSUME and who are up with the latest technology have value...which is why everyone is so desperately trying to stay young ....MADNESS! We have to step up .... know our wisdom, BE an elder who advocates for, mentors and encourages young people, represents the unborn children who are coming into this world when policy is being made that will effect them..... we have so much knowledge of LIFE that our society NEEDS....as we busily destroy the planet that sustains us! There is so much we could do if we stepped up and claimed the role of WISE ELDERS!
    Nan Norma
    22nd Sep 2016
    7:51pm
    Old age! Better than the alterative.


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