Anti aging guide

Aging Successfully



How to Age Successfully

Social aging takes on a significant part in our health and so it is important to highlight certain relevant points. There are three main social theories of aging. These theories see aging in the social sense – how an individual interacts with society – and have nothing to do with the theories of the biology of aging.

The Disengagement Theory on Aging Successfully
This sees aging as the process of gradual withdrawal of an individual from the activities of life in order to leave space for new members of society. Society itself also plays a part in this process by pushing the individual to ‘disengage’ from active life by enforcing retirement and by discriminating against the older person in a variety of subtle and not so subtle ways. The withdrawal from active life is associated with the subconscious desire to start preparing for death. Many older people will say that their turn has passed and it is now the time to make room for a new generation. Those who disagree with this idea are better able to come to terms with their age, and they ‘age successfully’ in the social and medical sense.

It is certainly true that later life can sometimes bring social isolation and boredom. One way to deal with this is to have many friends or keep in contact with many relatives now, in order to reduce the chances of problems in the future. Don’t neglect going out and visiting other people regularly to strengthen your social bonds.

During the past two years how often have you attended activities organized by a club, church, political or other organization? Being a member of an organization greatly reduces the chances of isolation in later life. It is not enough to just belong to a club, though – you should participate in activities that are held there as frequently as possible, no matter how old you are.

Be prepared for the later years, physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and financially. Don’t disengage too soon, or better still, don’t disengage at all!

The Activity Theory on Aging Successfully
A slightly different way of seeing aging is what social scientists call the ‘activity theory’. Young people are usually active in all areas of life, but as they grow older they progressively abandon their activities. This can be due to the loss of a job, loss of members of the family, loss of friends or loss of hobbies due to physical limitation. But by becoming less active people lose their role and identity, ie they are socially ‘aged’.

It is possible to recover some of these losses by keeping active with hobbies, a part-time job, a new course of study and so on. You should also try to maintain your identity through the years by adapting your style to avoid becoming ‘just another little old person’. Keeping socially active and enforcing your presence in life will make other people see you as a precious member of society who has something useful to offer and who needs to be respected and valued.

Some people find that the passage of time makes them less confident about their abilities. This is bad news. You should be confident and believe in yourself no matter how old you are. Whatever happened in earlier years may have been very nice and interesting, but now there are many more happy years to look forward to.

The Continuity Theory on Aging Successfully
Finally, a third theory of social aging is the ‘continuity theory’. Here, aging is seen as a continuous process from youth to old age. This theory claims that there are no clear-cut variations and no sharp changes in personality due to aging.

When people grow old, their characteristics do continue to evolve and improve according to circumstances, but the basic personality remains the same. A naughty little boy will become an awkward young husband and then a cantankerous old man. On the other hand, a cute little girl will grow up to be a fashionable woman and finally a coquettish older lady. As one pensioner put it: ‘I accept that I am a retired man in receipt of a pension, but I am the same person I was when I was working as an engineering designer.’

One way to deal with any traits in your personality which may evolve to cause serious social problems is to be flexible and adapt easily to change. If you are too rigid and can’t cope with change, you will probably have social difficulties later on in life. Try not to be stuck with the past, but accept modern changes. You may have traditional values, but adapt these to suit the world around you.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - January 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm