A lot of things in life just get better with age, don’t they? Things like cheese, wine, friendships … and, yes, even people.
“A lot of us tend to view aging as something to dread, but in reality, getting older means getting better, if you let it,” says Cristine Royer, Director of Marketing and Sales at The Estates at Carpenters, a Life Plan Community in Lakeland, FL, that offers Lifecare. “Our society may prize youth as something to be cherished and clung to, but that’s because we’re conditioned to look at the negatives of aging instead of the positives.”
Think, for example, of antiques – like your grandmother’s dining room table. Even if there are worn spots, scratches or other aspects that make it less than picture-perfect, we imagine you aren’t focusing on those. Instead, you’re looking at the gorgeous patina, the fine craftsmanship and maybe even thinking about the great memories you have from gathering around the table for family events and holiday dinners. The history of that piece of furniture has made it unique and valuable, and the same philosophy can be applied to you, as well.
“When you get older, you can focus on the negatives, like getting wrinkles, greying hair and lessened stamina, or you can embrace the good things about aging,” Cristine says. “Embracing the positives won’t just make you feel better about getting older; it will also help you feel better and help you age well.”
Why Getting Older Is Awesome
But what’s so great about getting older? you may be wondering. Yes, getting older does come with challenges, and as some of our parents once said, “it ain’t for sissies.” But there are lots of good things about getting older. Here are just some of those reasons:
Understanding what’s important. When we’re younger, we can get caught up in a lot of things and worry about stuff that, in the long run, isn’t that important. As we get older, we care less and less about those things like what brand of clothes we’re wearing, whether or not we are keeping up with the Joneses or being the “perfect” host or hostess. This gives us the opportunity to focus on the things that are really important in life: friends, family, happiness and fulfillment.
Being comfortable in your own skin. Every year you live gives you more of an opportunity to understand yourself and understand who you are (and who you aren’t). That sense of self-understanding is one of the best things about reaching a certain age. You don’t worry about trying to impress people or be someone you’re not because you know who you are, and you’re just fine with that.
You’re wiser and smarter. At least, that’s what we all hope we are. Having years of experience on your side means that you have a lot of tools in your toolbox for making decisions, understanding things and generally knowing what’s what. And the stuff you might not have the answers for? That’s okay – you can get the answer if you want, or you may find it’s really not all that important to you.
You don’t worry about what others think about you. This goes hand in hand with “being comfortable in your skin” as well as knowing your priorities. You aren’t trying to impress people just because. You aren’t worried about what strangers think about you. Instead, you do things for you and the people you care about. Being your true self is a lot less exhausting, and a lot more freeing (and fun).
7 Things That Get Better with Age
Part of growing old means that you can enjoy the benefits of other things that get better with age. Things like:
Happiness. There are a lot of worries and instability when you’re younger. Getting through school, raising a family, starting a career, working through financial issues … we’re not saying that old age is free of things to worry about. It’s just that the things that seemed to take up all your time (and caused sleepless nights) fade away as you get older. In their place, you have a life you’ve made for yourself … one that you can start enjoying fully now that you don’t have those worries anymore.
Memory. Yes, it’s true. Some aspects of memory actually improve the older you get. While you may forget dates from time to time, or always have problems knowing where you put your keys, things like semantic memory (which includes your knowledge of experiences, figures, facts and the world around you) remains strong. Getting older also means that you know how to organize your life in ways that help you remember things (like when to pay the bills or always putting your glasses in one spot instead of leaving them willy-nilly) – which, in turn, benefits your memory in an indirect (but still useful) way.
Making decisions. Research has shown that older adults tend to make better decisions as they get older in contrast to younger adults. This is because older people are generally more emotionally stable and less impulsive, which gives them the ability to weigh decisions and make choices based on knowledge and facts instead of emotion and knee-jerk reactions.
Empathy. All those life experiences and interactions with others over the years result in a deeper sense of empathy. Older individuals are able to put themselves in the shoes of the other person more easily, and demonstrate an awareness of what the other person is going through. A lot of times, this may be because they’ve actually experienced the situation themselves in the past. Or it could be that understanding of human emotions and situations becomes more refined as we age simply because we’ve lived for so long.
Self-confidence. Confidence and feeling good about who you are is something that just gets better with age. Ever met one of those older people who are unapologetically who they are? That’s what years of getting to know who you are and embracing yourself for it will get you.
Wisdom. While we do “know” more when we get older, “wisdom” is a different thing entirely. Wisdom is something that you can only get after a lifetime of experiences. There is no one definition of wisdom or how you get it, but we all know what it is. Being wise about situations means accepting them, understanding them for what they are and having the courage to face them in appropriate ways. Research has actually shown that wisdom helps people overcome stressors that are common in later life, like health issues.
Positivity. Older adults tend to focus on the positive more than their younger counterparts. This may sound surprising at first, but it’s backed by science. In older age, many adults reported greater happiness, a better outlook and better emotional stability as they got older.
To really see how things get better with age, consider the benefits that a Life Plan Community like The Estates at Carpenters can provide. With maintenance-free, carefree living plus the peace of mind that comes from lifetime health care, we can help show you how getting older means getting better … every day.
About The Estates at Carpenters
The Estates at Carpenters is a Life Plan Community offering worry-free independent living, assisted living and high-quality skilled nursing care and rehabilitation. For over 35 years, The Estates has provided older adults in the area with an active, engaging lifestyle filled with abundant choices and the amenities and services that make life easier. A lifestyle designed to keep older adults healthy and well today – and tomorrow.
For more information on The Estates or to RSVP to an upcoming event, contact Cristine at 863-853-5505 Ext. 142 or visit our website.