Pacific Grove, CA Having A Positive Outlook Is The Key To Growing Old Gracefully, Says PhD Teaching At CSUMBby Richard Kuehn on 08/07/12
Pat Hanson was profiled on the front page of the Monterey Herald and given kudos for the workshop she teaches at CSU Monterey Bay called "Aging Positively : Tips For Re-Framing Life As We Grow Older And Older". She also runs a writing group for seniors. "People tend to be most afraid of Alzheimer's disease and of becoming dependent on others. We write down those fears, crumple them into paper airplanes and let go of them," she said. Being over 65 herself, Pat understands the many challenges aging places on us including hearing loss, diminishing vision and fading memories. But she believes that if we stay positive as we have health problems, it will have a positive impact on the body's ability to fight off disease and other issues our bodies face. For instance, she said she is losing her hearing but her spin on this is that maybe we're actually meant to look people in the eye, and sit closer when we talk. I believe it. Having a strong immune system is critical to fighting off a number of maladies, and those who tend to sit around and mope don't get the needed exercise and social stimulation required to keep the body and mind active. At Family inHome Caregiving, we stress the importance of eating right and getting out and about so that seniors can feel involved in the community. Sit and home and do nothing and the body and mind are likely to feel old. Pat Hanson says that aging can be frightening to many people, but the key to enjoying life is understanding that most of us are destined to encounter health problems in old age that we didn't have when we were younger. "The important thing is to face your fears in a positive way: Look for things you can be grateful for and allow yourself to have a sense of humor about whatever issues you're enduring. Life is like a roll of toilet paper : The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. You have a limited amount of time left, so fill it with as many precious moments as you can," she said. I agree. Life is what you make of it and in our golden years we don't know how much time we have left and need to make the most of every day.