Tips given to me by my 70–80 year old patients who have aged well and are healthy and happy in their old age
Some of us may have some anxiety or fear about aging into our older decades.
In my line of work as a medical doctor, I meet many folks who are in their 70s to 80s. All have varying levels of health and functioning. A few “exceptional” ones that stand out to me are happy, healthy, and highly functioning.
I started asking these individuals and couples for their “secrets” of aging well. These were their most common advice:
- They take good care of their brain and their bodies and have developed or learned habits to continue this for all of their lives. They sleep as much as they can, they nourish themselves well, they still learn things, and most of all, they spend time having fun or enjoying being present in their surroundings.
- They don’t neglect their most important relationships (typically long-term marriages or long-term partnerships). The ones with long-term relationships are still having sex with one another and eye each other with joy and glee when they ask for a Viagra prescription. They tend to make each other smile and laugh, even during a short office visit.
- Not all of them exercise, but all of them have reasons to keep moving their bodies. These are usually jobs and/or hobbies that keep their bodies moving in positions other than the usual sitting or standing or laying down during most of their waking moments.
- Most common and most important of all, they wake up each morning with a sense of purpose, or duty to a service, that they are passionate about, even after they retire. They never stop serving their partners, their family members, or their communities.
May you all advance into your 70s to 80s with as much functioning and enjoyment out of life as possible!