ADVICE FROM WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST.LOUIS
The Washington quarterly magazine recently came out and included an article on tips for aging that was collected across various disciplines at the University. These ranged from the medical school, psychology department of Arts & Sciences, and the Brown School of Social Work.
Ways Of Aging More Successfully
- Plan Your Life: Carolyn Baum, professor in the School of Occupational Therapy makes a great suggestion that people need to consider creating a “driving retirement program”. What does this mean? It means thinking about living in an area where you have options for transportation other than driving. People need to reflect on what is important to them and how they can continue their lifestyle.
2. Improve Your Memory:
Dr. Balota, professor of psychological and brain sciences in the school of Arts & Sciences, points out that there are different mnemonic techniques that can help us with memory. What they’ve learned is that “practicing and spacing turns out to be really important in laying down memory traces.” This refers to repeating information and doing it again at intervals.
3. Understand Risks: Know that if a parent gets Alzheimer’s Disease after the age of 80 the increased risk for family members greatly decreases.
4. Talk About The Future: Start the conversation early with family members about what your end of life wishes are before you are unable. Dr. Carpenter, professor of psychological and brain sciences in the School of Arts & Sciences makes a good suggestion. He recommends starting the conversation with a broad question. An example would be – “What would matter to you the most if you were near the end of life?”
5. Expect Some Positive Changes: Good news! There is a high probability that as people navigate from middle age to later years that they will experience more positive emotions and less negative emotions.
6. Find Meaning: Psychologists are learning that as people grow older their relationship with time shifts and there is a need to make good use of their time allotment. There are challenges but opportunities as we age and its important to discover what the purpose is of our life. This could take form in work, volunteer, family or hobbies. We just need to stay engaged!