Greater Preservation of Health and Functionality Discussions

Greater Preservation of Health and Functionality Discussions

Peer #1 Laura

Individuals who experience successful aging have a greater preservation of health and functionality. Those that are considered successfully aging engage in three compensatory behaviors. These behaviors include an active participation in life, avoiding risk factors that lead to disease, and engaging in independent, physical functioning (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). In order to promote successful aging, there are several prevention strategies that can be employed. One prevention approach maximizes brain processes in order to avoid age-related, episodic memory deterioration. Some of the prevention efforts to stimulate active cognitive processes include providing the individual with reading materials, puzzles, word problems, and numeric exercises (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Another preventive strategy emphasizes constructive coping processes when adjusting to age-related decline and functionality. One adaptation model implements a three-tier model that includes selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC). This prevention strategy addresses how to optimize the health care needs, social interactions, physical engagement, and behavioral adaptations in aging individuals (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016). Another prevention strategy is improving access and use of clinical preventive services. Increasing early identification and diagnosis of disease can promote quality care in older adults. Community health clinics can check the individual’s blood pressure, provide cancer screening, test blood sugar levels and vitals, and incorporate community health systems for multidisciplinary, team-based care (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020).

There are several effective strategies for facilitating positive adjustment in retirement. One of the best approaches includes creating an adjustable retirement plan. These plans include a pre-retirement preparation, the transitional bridge between work and full retirement, and post retirement plans. These are successful when they can be changed and managed according to life circumstances. First, when individuals are mentally and physically healthy, they are able to adjust better to retirement. As such, incorporating health-promoting measures like physical exercise, limiting alcohol consumption, active participation in cognitive-based activities, and integration into community events help facilitate a healthy adjustment into retirement (Golinowska et al., 2016). Next, financial preparation can positively impact retirement adjustment. Active participation in retirement planning seminars, long-term financial plans, cost-saving strategies, economic financial planning, and developmental activities for self-efficacy help in the preparation and successful transition into retirement. Additionally, making preventive decisions regarding estate planning end-of-life planning can be a beneficial retirement strategy. Finally, developing realistic life goals, preparing mentally, physically and financially, and active participation is retirement planning and preparation can help successfully bridge the transition from full employment status to retirement transitions. (Juntunen & Schwartz, 2016).

References:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, September 21). Promoting health for older adults. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/promoting-health-for-older-adults.htm

Golinowska, S., Groot, W., Baji, P., & Pavlova, M. (2016). Health promotion targeting older people. BMC health services research16 Suppl 5(Suppl 5), 345. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5016724/

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. https://viewer.gcu.edu/V6W8wF

Peer # 2 Clea

When it comes to successful aging there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration. However the most important is the “environmental chatter,” (Gasiorek et al., 2016). Environmental chatter is broken down into four different categories: “ (1) internalizing and recalling memorable messages about aging, (2) observing how role models communicate about aging, (3) receiving accommodation or non accommodation from relational partners, and (4) internalizing portrayals of aging from the media.” (Gasiorek et al., 2016). What a person sees and hears in the world around them has a huge impact on how they view themselves. If an individual is able to see elderly people aging successfully and they appear healthy and active; it makes that process seem not so daunting. However, if an aging adult only sees people aging in negative ways such as depression, alzhemiers, inability to do things that will take a massive toll on their wellbeing. How the media portrays aging, be it positive or negative, can have an effect on how a person views themselves, the aging process and how society views them.

Throughout our lifetime the people we interact with changes based on our family, the age of our children, work schedule, etc. When an individual no longer has children in the home, because they are all grown and may have families of their own, a person transitions into a grandparent, in the past that was seen as an old, crotchy person with gray hair that taught you how to fish, cook and sew. Whereas learning these skills can be very beneficial, that is really the media portraying aging in a very negative light. If a person becomes a grandparent in their 50’s or 60’s they haven’t even retired yet, and most people in that age bracket are still very active and full of life. If the media showed a lively, active, not completely gray grandparent doing physical activities with their grandchildren it would really paint them in a much more accurate way. The media really does dictate how an entire generation views themselves and how society views them as well.

In order to have a positive retirement it is important to look at a person’s social circle. “Older persons may choose to engage in fewer but more strategic social interactions to preserve their functional resources in the presence of advancing age.” (Charles & Carstensen, 2010). By interacting with a more intentional group of individuals, it makes those relationships more meaningful and more impactful on your life. If you interact with those that view aging in the same light as you, you are able to age in a more graceful and positive manner. It is also important to find a purpose in your retirement life. If you just sit around all day watching tv and not interacting with others your mental stability is going to deteriorate; whereas if you are active, find a purpose and see joy in the aging process you will have value in yourself which greatly helps you as you age.

References

Bernhold, Q. S. (2021). The Role of Media in Predicting Older Adults’ Own Age-Related Communication and Successful Aging. Mass Communication & Society24(1), 1–30. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/1520543…

Juntunen, C.L. & Schwartz, J.P. (Eds). (2016). Counseling across the lifespan (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc. https://viewer.gcu.edu/V6W8wF

 

Peer #3 Cassandra

The term “successful aging” describes how individuals can alter their aging life course by engaging in compensatory behaviors. Along with changes such as diet, exercise, and nutrition there are three main components that are identified, these being

  • “Active engagement with life
  • Absence or avoidance of disease risk factors
  • Maintenance of high levels of physical and cognitive functioning” (Juntunen, & Schwartz, 2016., p. 378).

For successful aging interventions, the main goal is to utilize all available personal resources to enhance physical and cognitive function for as long as possible. For example, age-related deterioration of cognitive function can be enhanced by incorporating activities such as word or numeric activities, puzzles or reading. For those with physical limitations, exercise can be modified to seated chair exercises to maintain cardiovascular function and avoid muscle atrophy.

For less resilient individuals, due to a history of poor lifestyle, habits, living conditions or at an advanced age, the goal becomes not just medicating age-related decline but also to find well-being, purpose in living and happiness when physical deterioration is present, the emphasis being on coping, adjustment, and acceptance of one’s limitations in the presence of declining functionality” (Juntunen, & Schwartz, 2016., p. 380). This can be accomplished through the process of reframing. Strategies are used that sustain continuity of life routines, for example, if a person can no longer do everyday activities such as grocery shopping, it may still be possible to preserved views of self-independence by employing one’s social network (friends, family members or professional caregivers) to help with this task. This way, they can still feel independent by maintain personal choices.

Another strategy involves cognitive flexibility. This is defined as “an approach to cognitive problem solving that involves the manipulation of multiple solution sets to yield the best outcome in the shortest amount of time” (Juntunen, & Schwartz, 2016., p. 381). This involves actively adjusting goals or priorities as circumstances change, setting limits regarding abilities, employing social support, and seeking advice or counseling if needed.

Decision making that anticipates the realities of age-related decline, is another important skill. older individuals who are skilled in this area experience more satisfying life satisfaction and feelings of well-being. Lastly, it is important to maintain an optimistic view of life. Experiencing feelings of emptiness, loss or stagnation in relation to sustain well-being is common. Some suggestions are adapting a model that works to alter the mind-sets by employing things like religious ideology or positive affirmations. Individuals who are “moving in a positive direction toward health will likely be engaged in coping or activating a positive mind-set to enhance well-being than will adults who are trying to escape or alleviate symptoms or are choosing to avoid pain that is associated with the irreversible processes of aging” (Juntunen, & Schwartz, 2016., p. 382).

Counsellors can help retirees both before and after retirement. Most individuals begin thinking about this life stage in their 50’s. Counsellors can play an important role by identifying aspects of preretirement that can make a positive contribution to their transitional experience. This concept of continuity, as discussed earlier is crucial in establishing activities, interests, and recreations that can help replace the void resulting from job loss. These can become a valuable source of meaningful engagement in retirement. Prior to retirement, the importance of family values, worldviews, and relationships can be recognized and strengthened because this will also transfer to retirement. Coping strategies can be taught to make the transition easier. Retirement should be explained as a major transition involving several stages over time and that most retirees eventually manage the transition even though there may be continuing psychological issues. Once retirement starts coping mechanisms can be taught to help deal with the psychological effects caused by things such as the loss of a work/life structure and a job that may have defined much of their identity. In addition, counsellors can also inquire into possible issues in home management, family relationships, caregiving needs, and building a secure retirement/life structure. Lastly, enquiries should also be made about old or new friendships and the possibility of social isolation that may point to social support needs. This progress may also reveal signs of depression or identity or self confidence issues that need attention (Osborne, 2012).

Blessings

Casandra

References

Juntunen, C. L., & Schwartz, J. P. (2016). Counseling across the lifespan: Prevention and treatment (2nd ed.) Los Angeles, CA: SAGE

Osborne, M. (2012). Psychological Effects of the Transition to Retirement. Canadian Journal of Counselling and PsychotherapyVol. 46 (1), 45–58. https://doi.org/https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext…

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