In today's busy society, people aren't typically thinking about aging or elder care. By 2030, there will be more older adults than children under age 5 for the first time in human history. Here's a fantastic podcast with different topics ranging from clinical care of older adults to things that family caregivers need to know. Hosted by Dr. Melissa Batchelor (MelissaBPhD) 'This Is Getting Old' highlights all of the things we need to do to create an age-friendly world - because when things are age-friendly, they are friendly for everyone.
EP83: How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging
How do you feel about becoming older? Do you see it as a rite of passage or a dreaded occurrence that you must endure?
As we become older, "health" means more than simply being free of illnesses. Every older person may achieve "positive aging," also known as "healthy aging," if they strive to make better alternatives to improve their life in the long run.
Dr. David Lereah, PhD, is one of the few who fully grasps this concept. Thus, don’t miss another life-changing episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World with Dr. David Lereah, PhD. Let's all take a leaf out of his book as he shares his life story, how he survived stage three esophageal cancer, and show how minor changes to your daily habits may help you enjoy your years as much as possible.
Part One Of 'How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging'
The Power Positive Aging: A Potpourri Of Rich Experiences Dr. David Lereah's book, The Power Positive Aging, started from a vision of helping older adults in need combined with his cancer battle journey, his Meals on Wheels volunteering realizations, and missions from his non-profit organization United We Age.
Diagnosed with stage three esophageal cancer, Dr. David Lereah went on a journey—a terrible journey. He went through intense chemotherapy, radiation, and a seven-hour surgery.
That's where it all started for Dr. David Lereah. He looked at life-threatening diseases as an inconvenience. He researched how to cope with aging, and that's where he discovered the power of positive aging. One thing led to another, and he wrote the book—The Power Positive Aging.
"You may experience some loss in strength as a normal part of aging, but a decline in and of itself isn't normal."
Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN
How To Have A Positive Experience With Aging? Personally, Dr. David Lereah discovered six building blocks for positive aging. He relates it to everyone through his book because he believes everyone is in the same boat coping with physical and mental decline as we grow old.
The Six Building Blocks To Cope With Aging
Tapping With Our Spirit-We all know about our spirit, we talk about it, but we don't do anything about it. Instead, we worry about wrinkles on our face. We worry about losing our mobility. We may be physically declining, but our spirit could be strengthening. Thus, tapping into your spirit while physically declining is a significant asset and helps people confront the marks of aging.
Positivity-which is using affirmations and a lot of different techniques to stay positive.
Mindfulness: Living in the present moment, which is the meditative practice of an optimistic age.
The Four A’s Of Positive Aging
Accept: Accept your mark of aging, whether mobility loss, age spots, wrinkles, or accept it. Adapt: After accepting comes adapting, which means using a walker when you've lost your mobility. Appreciate: Appreciate everything you have in life while confronting a mark of aging like mobility and loss. Attitude: You have to have the right mindset about aging. We've climbed the hill in our lives. But you know what? We're not going down the hill. We'll stay on top and look at the scenery—that's what attitude is all about with aging. Social Support-We're social animals, we're human beings, and we need support from friends and family. Such support is essential when you're aging because you may be losing your spouse at some point. You may be losing some close friends. Thus, it would be best if you expand your social network continually.
Balance-When you age, you get out of balance. You're no longer bringing up a family with children. You're no longer striving in your career to get better and better at what you're doing now. You're retired, you're an empty nester, and you've got time on your hands—you're out of balance. And when you're out of balance, you experience stress, and you experience anxiety. We need to stay balanced in our twilight y
Creative Aging Sparks Joy, Connection, Purpose
If you wish to maintain health and longevity as you age, it may be helpful to include a special muscle group in your workout: your creative muscles.
According to ongoing studies, creativity is essential for healthy aging. Engaging in creative activities like singing, theater, and visual art may help older people feel better. Further, creativity, linked to the personality characteristic of openness, can help people live longer.
In this episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World, we're privileged to have Teresa Bonner, the Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies. Join us as we share meaningful conversations about creative aging and how it sparks joy, connection, and purpose among older adults.
Part One Of 'Creative Aging Sparks Joy, Connection, Purpose' Aroha Philanthropies And Creative Aging “Creativity is hardly the exclusive province of youth. It can blossom at any age—and in fact, it can bloom with more depth and richness in older adults because their vast stores inform it of knowledge and experience.”
—Dr. Gene Cohen, Geriatric Psychiatrist
These words of Dr. Gene Cohen, the founding Director of The George Washington University’s Center for Aging, Health and Humanities (for which I am the current Director), is Aroha Philanthropies' motivation in advocating creativity in aging. According to Dr. Cohen's landmark report, 85% of older adults are community-based, are aging well, can learn, be creative, and be so much more.
With this visions in mind, Aroha Philanthropies are on a mission to expand creative aging programs nationally. They're engaged in funded training for organizations to learn how to make successful programs for older adults—to learn an art form over time and to get better and better as they learn from a teaching artist.
Furthermore, Aroha Philanthropies has built national partnerships with the American Alliance of Museums, including botanical gardens, science museums, etc., to offer creative programs for older adults. This partnership has called on museums of all kinds around the country to develop creative aging programs and actively work against ageism in their institutions.
What's even more promising is that they've tapped on The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, where they've funded 36 state programs to develop and/or expand creative aging.
Aroha Philanthropies' efforts in evangelizing about the benefits of getting involved in the arts were not in vain. What they've learned from almost 2 000 participant survey responses is that after engaging in creative aging programs, older adults;
Developed relationships Learned various art forms Became cognitively and socially engaged Made meaningful social connections through art-making "Creative aging programs were highly effective at helping older adults grow artistically, mentally, and socially. 75% of 2,000 older adults reported that their mental engagement had increased because of taking creative classes."
Teresa Bonner, Executive Director of Aroha Philanthropies
How Do You Define Creative Aging? Creative aging is about learning an art form over time in a supportive environment. Such a supportive environment allows older adults to grow and become creative, more artistic and increase their social connections and social network. It is a broad topic that includes everything from programs designed to provide help for people suffering from diseases such as dementia to programs for caregivers who help with art therapy programs.
The learning and connection, and relationship building happen through the work of the teaching artist. In part, these teaching artists know how to have conversations with people and generate conversations among them through the art form.
That's the heart of successful creative aging programs. Older adults are learning over time from a teaching artist; they get better and make new friends.
Examples of the classes offered in creative aging
Alzheimer's Disease Care: 3 Tips for Eating and Drinking at Home
I went home to help my 70-year old mother take care of my 91-year old grandmother, who'd been in a nursing home for a year and a half during COVID. Grandma Trudie was extremely debilitated, and in this episode, I share. When your loved one is as weak as my grandmother was, you may need to make some adjustments that allow her to continue to feed herself. This video is part of a 3-part series on Alzheimer's Care and the other videos can be found where you found this one.
Alzheimer's Disease Care: 3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair
Learn 3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair For Older Adults with Alzheimer's Disease.
Alzheimer's Disease Care: 3 Tips for Transferring & Getting Dressed
I went home to help my 70-year old mother take care of my 91-year old grandmother, who'd been in a nursing home for a year and a half during COVID. Grandma Trudie was extremely debilitated, and could only bear her body weight when she first came home. She could not pick up her feet to even step side-to-side or pivot - which had the potential to put a lot of work on my Mom’s back until Grandma Trudie regained some of the strength in her legs..
In this episode, I share a 3-part series on Alzheimer's Care. When your loved one is as debilitated as my grandmother, you can't move her from place to place easily.
3 Tips for Transferring & Getting Dressed
✔️ Tip 1: Consolidate Movement to Minimize Risk of Injury
Thinking through moves from bed to chair; with bedside commode stop in between. Lining up and minimizing the number of transitions
Do as many steps in getting dressed or undressed while sitting, then moved her, Getting her into bed to lie down with one movement ✔️ Tip 2: Using a Hospital Bed: It Goes UP for a reason
Lowest position when getting in or out of bed Save Your Back – Roll the bed up as high as you need it to be to provide care Use Side rails when bed is being used. ✔️ Tip 3: The Power of the Rolling Side to Side
To get her brief on She could help by grabbing the siderails – doubles as good exercise! (You can check out the Part 2 & 3 episode where you found this one.)
Part 2: 3 Tips to Shampoo Hair in Sitting in a Chair
Part 3: 3 Tips for Eating and Drinking at Home.
If you have questions, comments, or need help, please feel free to drop a one-minute audio or video clip and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get back to you by recording an answer to your question.
About Melissa Batchelor, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN:
I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('96) and Master of Science in Nursing ('00) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) School of Nursing (SON). I genuinely enjoy working with the complex medical needs of older adults. I worked full-time for five years as FNP in geriatric primary care across many long-term care settings (skilled nursing homes, assisted living, home, and office visits), then transitioned into academic nursing in 2005, joining the faculty at UNCW SON as a lecturer. I obtained my Ph.D. in Nursing and a post-master's Certificate in Nursing Education from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing ('11). I then joined the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. My family moved to northern Virginia in 2015 and led to me joining the George Washington University (GW) School of Nursing faculty in 2018 as a (tenured) Associate Professor. I am also the Director of the GW Center for Aging, Health, and Humanities. Please find out more about her work at https://melissabphd.com/.
What is Ageism?
In this episode of This is Getting Old podcast, we tackle the biggest problem with America's mindset about aging and the prejudices that today's current older adults face and generations to follow will too, unless we make some major cultural changes.