When you imagine yourself "aging successfully," what comes to mind?
Do you imagine living a long and healthy life?
Are you surrounded by friends and family?
What sort of activities are you participating in?
The concept of successful aging is closely tied to active aging and aging well. Similar to the WHO's definition of 'health' - it is multi-faceted and not simply the absence of disease or infirmity.
It looks at both subjective and objective factors, the micro and the macro, depending on the individual, and the various dimensions of their health.
Successful ageing is an all-encompassing bio-psycho-social model that helps us to understand the areas we must focus on to age well and successfully.
In saying that, each individual is unique and has their own "activities" that make them feel fulfilled and with a sense of purpose. The concept of "Active Aging" is rooted in the theoretical approach that in order to age well, older adults adjust to older age by engaging in activities. However, this approach does not address the barriers to participation. The World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of active aging is:
The process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance quality of life as people age.
It is important to note the the word 'active' does not solely refer to the ability to be physically active or participate in the labour force, but continued participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs.
This model is the foundation of our business. We aim to serve our clients on a holistic level, targeting their physical, social, and mental health so that they may age successfully - however that looks to them. Our purpose is to advocate for and empower our clients so that they may maintain their dignity and autonomy, and actively engage in decision making to receive the best quality of care, and therefore an improved quality of life.
After reading this blog post, has your idea of "successful aging" changed? Let us know in the poll below: