Older Americans Month: Embracing Aging Has Never Been Easier

During Older Americans Month, Dr. Macie Smith explains which positive lifestyle changes attribute to healthy aging.

By Dr. Macie P. Smith

This May marks 61 years since President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed an enhanced focus on serving older Americans throughout the month of May. At the time of JFK’s proclamation, over a third of Americans over the age of 65 were living in poverty, almost half didn’t have health insurance, and the average life expectancy was under 70. 

Following JFK’s rallying cry, our country has come together to provide our older loved ones with more support than ever before. Today, only 10% of seniors live in poverty, less than 1% don’t have health insurance, and the average U.S. life expectancy has climbed to 80 years old. 

While many of these improvements come from changes at the highest levels of our country’s infrastructure, many can also be credited to positive lifestyle changes in the average American household. Here are some of those changes that you can implement yourself to continue to thrive as you age: 

Embrace the Good that Comes with Age

Aging has its perks. It comes with:

  • Wisdom from life experiences
  • Confidence in who you are
  • The ability to recognize what really matters

Control What You Can Control

Your outlook on a situation is one of the few things you can always have full control over. Adopt a positive attitude and welcome your new stage of life. By looking at things as “glass half full,” you can much more easily define your own aging process. 

Stay Motivated

Be intentional about your day-to-day activities and pursue the passions that drive you. If you find something that you can look forward to every day, it can be the difference between existing and living. If you struggle to find a real passion right off the bat, start simple by making a to-do list of things you want to accomplish. Checking off boxes is one of the simplest, but most rewarding ways to stay motivated. 

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Motivation and fostering a positive mindset can help you stay healthy mentally, but you also need to maintain your physical health. 

  • Stay active. Becoming sedentary is one of the quickest ways to speed up how fast you age. Stay on your feet as much as possible, aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week and don’t let yourself prioritize being comfortable over all else. 
  • Be social. It’s never been easier to stay socially engaged than it is right now. Stay in touch with friends and family, find groups of people who share a passion with you and don’t let yourself become isolated. 
  • Stay engaged. Find activities that keep you mentally stimulated. While there’s no problem with enjoying a favorite TV program, you should find other outlets that require your interaction. Online games, crosswords or puzzles are just some of the options that can keep your brain busy. 
  • Manage your diet. The older you get, the more intentional you need to be about what you put into your body. Be sure to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, and don’t let yourself rely on one type of food for every meal. 
  • Prioritize your mental well-being. Avoid unnecessary stressors and find outlets that help you decompress and feel good about yourself. Embrace meditation, massages, light reading, or other quiet activities. 


Older Americans have never had more support than they do right now, but healthy aging ultimately starts with you. Incorporate positive change into your day-to-day routines and feel comfortable knowing there’s an extensive network of people who are happy to support you. 

To learn more about how to best handle the aging process and what professionals are happy to help you navigate it, read about SYNERGY HomeCare’s in-home services, here, or call 877-432-2692. 

Dr. Macie P. Smith is a licensed gerontology social worker who is focused on helping families support their aging loved ones through long-term care. Specifically, Dr. Smith educates caregivers on how to care for seniors with dementia. She is an advocate for specialized care and assists others in finding a way to provide a better quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Dr. Smith has dedicated over 22 years of her life working in gerontology and assisting families in finding personalized solutions for dementia care. For more articles by Dr. Macie Smith, go to https://synergyhomecare.com/blog/.


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