Aging is a complex phenomenon, shaped by culture, societal expectations, as well as socio-demographic characteristics and individual experiences. The term “successful aging” has been used to describe the quality of aging, which is influenced by a number of social and environmental factors as well as one’s physical health. Many older adults define successful aging differently, but there are 12 themes that emerged from a recent systematic review. For each of the themes below, we have included links to some of our most popular resources on the topic. We encourage you to explore them further and think about what aging successfully means to you.
1. Maintaining meaningful relationships and social interactions with family and friends, as well as engaging in their community and having access to resources and support.
2. Maintaining and cultivating a positive attitude for emotional well-being.
· Blog Post: Looking after your mental well-being
3. Being healthy to stay independent for as long as possible.
· Blog Post: Mental well-being: What’s ‘food’ got to do with it?
· Blog Post: How healthy eating can look different for everyone
4. Having a financial safety net to meet basic needs, cover living costs, have access to health insurance and get the care they need.
5. Accepting (and adapting to) physical changes associated with aging and being open to using assistive devices or gradually adjusting activities.
· Blog Post: How Technology Can Help Our Mental Well-Being
6. Being engaged to stay active (for example, volunteering or pursuing hobbies).
7. Developing spirituality to improve well-being, giving meaning to life and preparing for the later stage of life with serenity.
8. Having support from social policies favorable to aging, such as access to quality health care, free or affordable, access to work, government pensions, access to meals or housekeeping services.
9. Being autonomous and independent to maintain some freedom and continue to perform daily tasks without assistance, as well as to take care of yourself without depending on others.
· Blog Post: Helping older adults stay behind the wheel safely
10. Maintaining good cognitive health to stay alert, reduce memory loss, maintain mental activity and an active mind.
11. Staying physically active to delay old age or simply to be able to maintain a social or professional life.
· Blog Post: Join a walking group to improve your health!
12. Having a "good" death, ideally in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by family members.