I had the great fortune to speak with several seniors this weekend who shared very interesting views of life and how they are choosing to live it. One lives in the wilds of
British Columbia, , and has only in the last few years taken up flying. Due to his location, it’s actually easier to hop into the plane to get to the nearest big town to do any ‘real’ shopping than drive the car more than 30 miles to the nearest small town. Then he shared about trips to the Canada taking his small plane and camping on the beach. Later, he said that he was glad that the commercial flights he’d take home from Baja Peninsula , where we met, were broken up with a few layovers so that he could get out and stretch his knees that were beginning to show their age. Pennsylvania
I was struck by the contradiction. Aching knees needing a break were on one hand then flying one’s own plane to exotic locations for adventures on another. Yet BRAVO is what I wanted to say to this man. Despite his admission that his adventures might not come so often, he still envisions them. He’s held on to his own sense of adventure and zest for life. He’s taking into account the challenges of an aging body but not letting them keep him from doing the things he wants to do.
On my own flight home, I sat near several seniors who were headed off to a cruise to
. One gentleman in the group had lost vision in one of his eyes but yet managed to get along just fine with the help of his wife. I have no doubt that members of the group had their own list of age related aches and pains, but they made the choice to manage them as well as they could and live active lives. Buenos Aires
None of these people seemed to be in need of a caregiver, yet there is no doubt that others care about them. As people age, and health challenges occur, it’s often a loving friend or family member, whether serving as an intense caregiver or not, who can help encourage their parent, loved one, or friend, to step back into life, or just to keep living it.
Seniors don’t have to travel to exotic locations to lead active, engaged lives, and they don’t have to let the challenges their bodies impose during the aging process be an excuse to stop being active, either. Often caregivers see their loved ones retreat from life because of physical challenges. At these times it’s the caregiver who can be the cheerleader. Find information about senior-friendly community events and social groups, even travel. After an illness or hospitalization, help your loved one reconnect with friends and activities they enjoy. It's all about reminding someone that they can still pilot their plane!