Blog #2: What does Healthy Aging Mean to You?
By: Ethel "Kabu" Brunt
Being a retired nurse, after a career that spanned more than 40 years, I have always prided myself on living in a healthy way. As a young woman, I made sure to do the things that would ensure I lived to be a healthy old age – eating nutritiously, staying active, and consuming alcohol only moderately. Now that I am living as an older adult, I realize there are things I cannot or will not do as I would when I was a younger woman. I knew there would be certain changes I would experience in living to a "ripe old age," and because of that realization, I have made adjustments to my day-to-day living. Activities like getting in and out of low cars and going shopping alone are not part of my routine anymore. I don’t attempt to do small home improvement chores on my own and don’t cook as much as I used to. In addition to being an older woman, my rheumatoid arthritis has helped set limits to what I can do.
Being a healthy older adult has a variety of meanings to me. Maintaining a certain level of independence, doing things I enjoy, and keeping up with doctors’ appointments are some of what it means to be healthy. Although I am not able to do things I once was able to or as much as I thought I would be able to do in my older age, I still consider myself a healthy person. Doing modified activities around home and lifting, playing with, and cuddling my two great-grandchildren are some of what contributes to my health and happiness. Engaging in heart healthy activities, such as walking, also helps keep me energized. Given the circumstances of the world now, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely important. I still have a lot of living to do.