As a nation, our citizenry is getting older and older. At the turn of the century, the average person lived less than three years after he retired. Now, the average is more than five times that, and the typical 50-year-old of today will probably have 20-plus years in retirement.
What this means is that we are living longer, but unfortunately, too many people are not preparing for longer life. There are several things we need to do. We need to be preparing more rigorously for a financially secure retirement. We also need to prepare ourselves from a health standpoint, and if we expect to maintain both physical and emotional health, mental preparation is essential to the enjoyment of our later years.
Here are a few suggestions:
First, if you are already a retired citizen, get involved with young people, if at all possible. Many children confined to hospital beds or long-term health care do not have grandparents and would love to have a senior citizen come by and tell them stories or read to them.
Second, there are literally tens of thousands of pets in shelters where they languish day after day until somebody adopts them or they are euthanized. Offering assistance at these centers will help both the animals and their keepers, and as a volunteer, you will benefit, too. Medically speaking, it's been proven that "pet therapy" works big-time. When senior citizens are around pets or have one of their own, their quality of life and length of life also improve. Walking a pet will accomplish a double objective.
People who concentrate on others more than themselves have considerably less depression and suffer less from loneliness. They contribute to their community in ways that younger people with growing families cannot. The benefits of becoming involved in lives other than your own extend throughout the entire scale of life.
Doing things for others has all kinds of benefits, so take that approach, and I'll see you at the top!
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