Q: Some people just seem to age better. I am in my late 60s and just moved into a retirement community with my husband.
Being around so many seniors has made me really think about how differently people age. Some people here are around my age, but you couldn't tell by looking at them. They easily look a decade older.
On the other hand, there are those in their 80s who still look great and youthful.
How can I age gracefully?
A: Although a large portion of aging is genetic, the rest of it is under your control. Physical and mental habits make a huge difference.
One of the first things people notice about us is our skin. It's the largest organ in our body, and it shows how we treat our body over decades.
Smoking and sun exposure are especially damaging to your skin. Integrating a good SPF into your routine, even on cloudy days, will make a world of difference. Apply lotion regularly to your limbs, joints and hands. If you use a moisturizer on your face, don't forget to put some on your neck.
Although many ladies are tempted to cover their natural facial imperfections, excess makeup can make you appear older. Wear it in moderation.
Take care of your health, and avoid overindulgence. You'll benefit from limiting your salt consumption, watching TV and alcohol use, although they're fine in moderation. A balanced diet does wonders.
Aside from the physical aspects of aging, attitude is a huge factor. Negativity and stress will age you prematurely.
To keep yourself young, look for at least one good thing every day, and don't forget to smile! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
HOUSING YOUR PARENTS
Q: My mom is at the point where she's not able to live on her own. She doesn't need constant care, but she needs some supervision and help.
Luckily, my wife and I have extra space in our home, as our own kids have long since moved out.
How can we prepare our home for her to move in?
A: There are a lot of big and small changes you can make to your home for greater accessibility.
A large concern for seniors is the risk of a fall. Removing potential hazards will make a huge difference.
The bathroom is an especially dangerous room in which to take a tumble. Consider installing nonslip material on the floors and shower, assistance bars and/or a shower chair.
Outside of the bathroom, clutter and throw rugs can all make it harder for seniors to get around. Additionally, pets often get underfoot and cause a little chaos. Keeping any pet to an enclosed area may be beneficial.
Prepare yourselves emotionally for your new cohabitation. Although many children want to take care of their parents and try to house them, this is a major life change, and you need to put it in context.
Remember to nurture your marriage. Having a new roommate will cut into your time together. A regular date night can help you balance your priorities.
Even if your mom isn't there yet, she will eventually need more help than you can provide. Developing a plan now will spare you some future anguish and prevent unintentional neglect. What are some warning signs that your mom needs more care than yours? When the time comes, will you look for a part-time helper? Will you look for an assisted living facility?
Most of all, remember to enjoy the extra time with your mom! — Doug
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: analogicus at Pixabay