Time marches on for us all and, most of the time, it isn’t fun for anyone. We often view aging with a paradoxical mixture of fascination and dread, as if we were always staring halfway through a funhouse mirror. The truth is that aging, no matter who it happens to, is always a new process. No one’s ever been as old as they are right now and no one is ever going to get younger either. Until the far off day when we perfect anti aging technology and can finally all live as perfect immortal people, all of us have to cope with the realities of aging, both its perils and its triumphs. But what does the process of aging entail, exactly? What happens to us as we get older and how do our bodies and minds change with the process of age? This is a complicated question and there’s no easy answer. It involves a lot of complicated and interrelated processes that work together to change the very foundation of who we are. Here are a few things you might want to know about the aging process.
- Changes in the mind
You might think that all of the major aging changes happen in the body but this is somewhat of a false idea. Though it is true to a certain degree, a large part of the aging process happens in the mind first. As we get older, our memories tend to start sorting things out through different lenses than when we were younger. For instance, a young memory person’s memory is more likely to record how that person and that person alone felt at any given time. As we get older, however, the change tracks and switches to a more group oriented view. You tend to see things as they benefit other people and not just yourself. Especially in senior and nursing homes, memory care is incredibly important. As the ability of the body to wander about and explore diminishes, memory becomes all someone might have. Nursing homes know this and they strive to make the people living in their care as comfortable as possible because of it. Memory care might not seem like an important thing. When you’re young it might seem like something that either doesn’t matter or matters very little because of a sense of internal consistency. It’s easy to remember when you are young but when you are young its impossible to know how hard it will be to remember when you are older. This is the paradox of memory care and it’s extremely complicated and unfortunate.
Experience is, of course, what separates the young from the old but it’s not the only thing. Body changes are obviously another huge sign of getting older and there’s really no end to the amount of body changes you might undergo. Like memory care, muscle care is increasingly important as you get older due to changes that the body undergoes at around the thirty year mark. Metabolism slows down and it becomes easier to gain weight than to lose it. Especially in our over consumptive society, it’s incredibly easy to gain a dangerous amount of weight so taking care of your muscular and cardiovascular systems should come as a first priority. There’s also the problem of aging joints and bones which can start to hurt for some. If this happens to you, see a doctor and get checked out. You’ll want to avoid the beginnings of arthritis if you can.
There are other changes too, just as important but less immediately noticeable. People tend to lose their ability to gauge risk as they get older and may become withdrawn or insular. They may fear changes both personal and social. Don’t let this happen to you, either. Embrace change. Learn about the new and the different. Don’t let fear stop you from supporting young people and others in your own generation. Age should come as a new opportunity to reinvent yourself and see the world in new ways. Embrace that concept and you’ll always be young at heart. That is a definite promise.