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Reinventing Senior Citizenship

Updated on June 19, 2013

You're Not Aging, Just Reinventing Age

The age group that refers to itself as "senior citizens" are not your Mother's Seniors of yesteryear. In the 1950s, a senior citizen was approximately fifty-five years of age and already planning retirement at age sixty-five. Today, seniors past age sixty-five are actively employed, involved in their communities and manage multi-generational households. Economics may be the basis of this shift.

Reinventing Senior Citizenship

Instead of allowing age to be a debilitating factor, it's possible to completely reinvent senior citizenship. Most important to this reinvention is maintaining strict vigilance over health issues. Balancing work with relaxation is also significant to learning to reinvent the aging process. Aging for some seniors is more a mental state of mind. Is it really necessary to "grow old?" Seniors reinvent their attitudes on aging sufficiently to increase their enjoyment of life?

As the World Races Past

Many seniors view their personal environments as a world they feel they no longer fit into. Some of these seniors try to compensate by pushing harder than necessary. Others simply accept feelings of "not belonging" and retreat. When it seems the world is racing past at breakneck speed, it really isn't necessary to do more than "go placidly amid the crowds" at your own pace. This isn't a sign of aging. It's a sign of having earned the right to sure-footed confidence in your own talents, skills and most of all, experience.

Communication Breakdown?

Employed seniors who work with younger employees experience communication breakdown. It's an interesting parallel to observe. The two major elements are experienced, older adults and younger, less experienced ambitious adults. For employers, this is a conundrum. Older employees are reticent to change tried and true work habits that earned their success. Younger employees want split second changes, often without stabilized forethought. Can the generation gap be linked? Yes, if seniors are willing to be patient and listen to new ideas. Take the ideas you like and leave the rest that don't apply. This helps seniors remain vital in their jobs.

Know Your Endurance Levels

Each individual at any age knows their endurance levels. Thus, age isn't really a factor when it comes to endurance. Nor is gender, specifically. With this unusual kaleidoscopic range of endurance, this is actually an advantage for seniors to keep in mind. Respond to your body's messages. Eat when you are hungry, rest when you are tired and enjoy life whenever the opportunity arises. The real secret endurance level for seniors considering reinventing age is to remind themselves it's their mental endurance that is the greatest asset. Seniors may experience slight short-term memory gaps from time to time. But, it's their long-term memory that is their greatest asset. With long-term memory, whole biographies, autobiographies, family chronicles and memoirs can become valuable life tomes. While the younger generation may not be interested in details, life details have a way of becoming like a fine aged wine. Time increases the value of these details.

You're as Young As You Think

Dwelling on chronological age rarely occurs with the busiest seniors. They simply do not spend a single wasted moment reflecting on the vagaries of aging. Keeping busy and engaged in life is singularly important at any age. Never more so than for seniors. Avoid depression by taking up an interest in a long-forgotten hobby. Spend some time venturing into a new interest or learning a new skill. As each new year begins, make a determined effort to learn and master one new skill. Or, take up the task of completing a subject that had been formerly abandoned for lack of interest. The current crop of seniors citizens have adopted the belief in being "Forever Young." This provides limitless opportunities to reinvent how they age.

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