Embracing the Truth of Aging: Challenges and Solutions
Aging is a simple reality and truth, even if it may not be a pleasant thing for all of us to think about. Just as change and growth are inevitable aspects of life, so too is the process of aging. Instead of “aging” being a word that so many fear or deem undesirable, perhaps it is time we embrace the word and all the positives that come with it.
Aging means we get to keep living. It means we have another day in the human experience, building memories with loved ones, sharing stories, connecting with friends old and new, learning and practicing a new hobby or activity, helping our community and so much more.
Of course, aging also involves some harder-to-accept truths outside of our control. It can, at times, involve unwelcome changes, such as reduced mobility and energy or change in appearance. Because of these harder-to-accept realities, we tend to shy away from it entirely, and even deny its looming presence in our lives and the lives of the people we love.
The good news is we get to choose how we age and how we view it. We get to influence what that process will look and feel like in our own bodies and daily lives. We get to support what aging can be like for the people we love most.
We get to decide: is the glass half-full or half-empty? Will we accept that we are aging, embrace it, and plan for it accordingly? Or will we deny it, kicking the can down the road…
I say: let’s keep leading our own lives in the face of aging! Let’s keep leading life in ways that help us maintain our physical and mental health, strength, and independence. Embracing aging and considering the help we may someday need, can actually allow us to live happier, easier, fuller lives – creating even more potential to keep growing and moving forward.
More and more, adults across the U.S. are living well into our eighth or ninth decade of life, and seven in 10 will need some form of long-term care – on top of the support we receive from our families and friends. Options exist, but aren’t well understood. There are more quality choices to help us as we age than we may realize – from extra help around the house to communities offering specialized services.
Fortunately, here in New York, there is a full continuum of long-term care and aging services to help us and our families keep leading life. St. John’s is one of those leading providers with its spectrum of services for Rochester area older adults..
There are hundreds of non-profit and mission-driven aging services providers across New York that can provide just the help you and your family may need. It’s great to learn about them, even before you or a family member may need them. Below is a description of many of the aging services options that are available to you. Click here to find a provider near you that might meet your current or future needs, the needs and desires of your loved ones, or just help you plan ahead for what you’d like your aging experience to look like.
If we embrace the inevitable truths of life, we get to walk alongside them, embracing life itself more fully. We are all aging, growing, and changing. It is up to us to decide how we will keep leading life.
AGING SERVICES CONTINUUM
The aging population in the U.S. is growing exponentially, and there are a variety of aging services options available to help us decide how to continue living enriching and fulfilling lives wherever we call home. From assistance with regular daily activities, to help with chores around the house, to intensive around-the-clock care, LeadingAge New York members across the state represent the full continuum of aging services. These dedicated professionals offer innovative, quality care to help make New York a better place to grow old. Below is a description of the many different levels of aging services available to New Yorkers. Click here to find a not-for-profit New York provider near you.
Community-based group setting with access to coordinated health, social, functional, and therapeutic activities for older adults in need of supervision due to memory or cognitive impairments.
Apartment communities offering rents that are reasonably priced to lower-income older adults, many with professional care service coordinators to connect you with health and wellness supports to help you age in your community.
Community apartments or suites designed for personalized levels of on-site services to support daily living and medical assistance for older adults. Check out Hawthorne at St. John’s Meadows.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as Life Plan Communities, offer tiered lifestyle and health care options for senior living on one campus, typically including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home residential areas. Residents transition to higher levels of care across the continuum as needed.
Home health provides access to a range of medical and non-medical services for daily living in the comfort of your home, a service also used often for transitioning home after a hospital stay.
Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life for terminally ill people with a range of palliative care treatments focused on reducing pain and suffering, while attending to emotional and spiritual needs. St. John’s Home provides hospice services as part of its offerings.
Nursing homes offer 24/7 person-centered care, where daily health, safety, and well-being are supported for people with chronic conditions and comorbidities requiring around-the-clock long-term care and rehabilitation services. Explore the small homes model within skilled nursing care at St. John’s Home.
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) gives older adults 55+ access to an interdisciplinary team of health and social services professionals in a managed care plan that integrates preventive, acute, and long-term services.