Does the text in a book look smaller than it once did? Do you find it harder to get down on your knees to look under the bed—and to get up again?
There's no question that age brings changes to our lives and yes, some of them we'd prefer to avoid.
Physically, for example, stiffening joints can make it harder to get around. And many people find that their short-term memory just isn't what it used to be. Often, difficult personal situations, such as the death of a spouse, can add to the negative changes.
Age can also bring positive changes. One survey found that many older people say they have less stress and more time for family, interests and hobbies than they used to. In fact, the vast majority of older people report they are satisfied with their lives.
To a great extent, what older age will be like for you depends on how you live now. It also depends on how you cope with the changes that come your way. You can't turn back time. Still, you can take steps to help make getting older easier and more pleasant. Here are a few tips:
Decide to have an active mind and body. Remember the saying "use it or lose it."
Opt to be involved. Isolation can contribute to depression and other health problems. So keep connected to family and friends. Social connections can help ensure that you have physical and emotional support for what comes your way.
Choose a healthy lifestyle. Try to eat well, stay at a healthy weight, get enough rest, quit smoking, observe safety precautions and see your doctor regularly.
Make the most of your spare time. Do things you enjoy, and allow yourself some downtime. Too much stress can bring on a host of health problems.
Practice healthy ways to cope. Believe in yourself, and remember: You can handle whatever comes your way.
Sources: AGS Foundation for Health in Aging; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mental Health America; Pew Research Center