Aging is an important part of life that presents many opportunities and challenges. Although there are physical benefits to becoming an older, aging can sometimes lead families to encounter financial, social, and other problems.

The term senior citizen often conjures images of pinochle, shuffleboard, the urban expression blue hair, rocking chairs, early bird specials, ill-health, and dependence. Coined in 1938, the term senior citizen is an old-fashioned word for an obsolete stereotype.  50-year-olds are graduating from college. 60-year-olds are hang gliding computer whizzes. 70-year-olds are marathoners. 80-year-olds are beginning fitness routines and regularly having sex.

Older adults are at a higher risk than any other age group for mental and behavioral health problems and the number of those afflicted is expected to reach 15 million by 2030. Depression and anxiety are particularly prevalent among older Americans who suffer from dementia, cancer, strokes, arthritis, and heart disease. If left untreated, mental illnesses can severely decrease your ability to function and cope with other physical health concerns.

Aging is a normal part of life. Celebrate good health by:

• Being positive
• Taking control of your health
• Working with your doctor
• Watching what you eat
• Enjoying an active lifestyle
• Socializing
• Taking advantage of preventive services
• Exercising the brain (e.g. piano lessons, language classes, and crossword puzzles)
• Reducing stress
• Quitting smoking
• Focusing on emotional wellbeing

Consider the resources found below: