“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” That is a quote from Satchel Paige, a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer who started in the Negro leagues in 1926. He was able to progress to the Major Leagues and played his last game in 1953 at the age of 47. Though he was an amazing pitcher, one of the aspects of his game that is most memorable is his longevity. He seemed to evade father time enough to have a long and successful career. In this blog post I’d like to talk to you all about different ways to look at the idea of aging and ask you “how old do you want to be?”
Let’s begin with Chronological Age…..
This is the simplest way to look at aging. Our chronological age is calculated by the number of years we each have existed or how many birthdays we have had. It’s great for identifying milestones in our lives. Examples:
- 13 – you become a teenager
- 18 – you are legally an adult
- 21 – you can legally drink alcoholic beverages
- 40 – your friends throw a cheesy over the hill party for you
- 50 – you receive your AARP card
- 65 – you are a senior citizen and you qualify for Medicare
But if Chronological Age is such a common way at looking at age, then why can two people of the same age differ so greatly in their abilities? A clear negative aspect of Chronological Age is that does not take into account that we are all unique in how we age.
This leads us to the idea of Functional Age…
Functional age is determined by what you can do. For example, you can have a
From what I’ve researched, it seems there is no straightforward answer to how a specific number can be calculated for someone’s functional age. But what is clear is that it takes into account that we are all unique in the how we age. However, it does not take into our perceptions of what we believe it “feels like” to be different ages.
That being said, let’s talk about Subjective Age.
Subjective age is how you feel and how you define that feeling for yourself. For example, my best friend told me this past weekend that, though she is 38, she feels like she is 20….She feels like she is 20 because her activity level is high and she’s in great health. She runs half marathons and competes in various events such as tough mudder on a regular basis. So her subject age is based on how she perceives it feels like to be 20 years old and comparing that to herself.
Out of the 3 concepts mentioned, I prefer the concept of Subjective Age because it seems to combine Functional Age with how I feel about myself.
So I ask you, “How old do you want to be?” There is evidence that indicates that we can live longer and better lives if we make healthy choices. By doing so, you can lower your chance of having a chronic condition or disease and can improve your cognitive functioning. There is an article I read recently on healthaffairs.org that indicates only about 30 percent of aging is explained by genetics. The other 70 percent is due to lifestyle and environment. So what does this tell you? Your decisions play a very large role in how you age, more so than genetics. You are not necessarily destined to live with a chronic condition if you make healthy choices.
Here are examples of healthy choices:
- Maintain a healthy diet. There is a great website called www.choosemyplate.gov that can help you to make better decisions in terms of nutrition.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Include Aerobic and strength exercises as well as stretching in your routine.
- Absolutely, do not smoke. It contributes to heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic conditions.
- Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, it’s very important to your health.
- Be pro-active and go to your
doctorsfor regular check-ups.
- Keep your vaccines current, especially as you get older. Our immune systems weaken as we get older which puts us a higher risk for certain diseases.
- There is evidence that positive, loving, and supportive relationships have a positive impact on health.
Those are just a few examples of healthy choices that can have a positive effect on how you age.
In closing, there are different ways to look at aging but we all are unique in the way we age. Consider your current abilities and how you feel today. If you want to be younger, consider some of the tips I’ve presented in this blog post. Also, there is a fantastic website www.livingto100.com that has a life expectancy calculator that will help you assess items in your lifestyle or environment. With 70% of aging attributable to lifestyle and environment, take from this blog post that you are largely in the driver’s seat …and then ask yourself again “How old do I want to be?” That is the question.
- Jonathan Marsh, Home Helpers of Bradenton
Thanks for reading our blog post.
Contact Home Helpers of Bradenton FL for your Senior Care Needs
For information about how Home Helpers of Bradenton can serve you and your family, call 941-999-1960, email JMarsh@HomeHelpersHomeCare.com or visit Senior Care Bradenton FL - Home Helpers. Our senior home care services including homemaker care, companion care, personal care, Alzheimer's and dementia care, respite care, 24 hour care & live-in care, and monitoring and medical alert services are available in Manatee County and Sarasota County in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Our main office is located at 4230 59th St W, Ste C, Bradenton, FL 34209.
About Home Helpers
Founded in 1997, Cincinnati-based Home Helpers is one of the nation’s leading home care franchises. With an ongoing commitment to helping people live healthier, more independent lives in the comfort of their own homes, Home Helpers works with seniors, new and expectant mothers, those recovering from illness or injury, and individuals facing lifelong challenges. Home Helpers is affiliated with Direct Link, a national provider of 24/7 emergency response systems and vital signs monitoring units.