Senior Center Month Spotlights Organizations’ Vital Connections During Pandemic
Pivoting to individual awareness and online service helps millions of older people stay healthy and safe Arlington, VA (September 1, 2020) - In September, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) celebrates National Seniors Center Month with the theme Seniors' Centers: Making Vital Connections - highlighting the essential role that senior centers play in keeping older […]

Pivoting to individual awareness and online service helps millions of older people stay healthy and safe

Arlington, VA (September 1, 2020) - In September, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) celebrates National Seniors Center Month with the theme Seniors' Centers: Making Vital Connections - highlighting the essential role that senior centers play in keeping older people healthy, safe and connected in our communities, especially in times of crisis.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of seniors' centers in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods have been a lifeline for vulnerable seniors facing hunger, disease and isolation social. After COVID-19-related health issues forced senior centers to close, they quickly pivoted to offer home-delivered and take-out meals, weekly health checks over the phone and getting ready for virtual courses and workshops.

"These vital bonds have reduced hunger, disease and depression in our grandparents, relatives, older neighbors and friends," said Ramsey alwin, President and CEO of NCOA. “We are grateful for the ingenuity, resilience and hard work of countless numbers of senior staff at the center despite the pandemic challenges they are enduring. While delivery methods have changed during the pandemic and will continue to evolve, senior centers have been successful in providing outreach, knowledge, programs and resources to address social isolation.

As part of National Seniors' Center Month in September, senior centers across the country will highlight their programs that offer a holistic approach to aging well for the mind, body, spirit and community. The event is sponsored by NCOA National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC).

For more information on NISC and National Seniors Center Month, please visit www.ncoa.org/NISC.

About NISC
NCOA's National Institute of Seniors' Centers (NISC) supports a nationwide network of more than 3,000 senior center professionals dedicated to helping older people stay active, engaged and independent in their communities. The NISC sets the standard for the future of seniors' centers by promoting research, promising practices, professional development and advocacy. The NISC also offers the only national accreditation program for National Seniors Centers. Learn more about www.ncoa.org/NISC.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader who works to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950 our mission has not changed: to improve the lives of millions of older people, especially those in difficulty. The NCOA gives people the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security - and we strengthen the government programs we all depend on as we age. Each year, millions of people use our Signature BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters® and Aging Mastery Program® programs to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA strives to improve the lives of 40 million older people by 2030. To learn more, visit ncoa.org and @NCOAging.


What does it mean to age gracefully ? You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care. Read on to find out what to do and what not to do on your quest to age happily.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. tera keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Your skin is your body’s largest organTrusted Source. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. tera keep it looking and functioning at its best : Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside. Get yearly skin cancer screenings. Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skin care routine. Stay hydrated.

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood. The Department of Health

Healthy foods are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. The Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommends that you eat : fruits and vegetables, either fresh, frozen, or cannedlean protein, such as fish and beansat least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every daythree servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy, such as milk, yogurt or cheese that are fortified with vitamin Dhealthy fatsAvoid using solid fats for cooking and use oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also keep your salt intake to a peu to keep your blood pressure down.

Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you real and age well. to keep your mood elevated : Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve esprit and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods. Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging live longer and may recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable and learning to embrace it can make all the difference. Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only fuel your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.

Numerous studiesTrusted Source have linked a sedentary life to an increased risk of chronic illness and early death. Some options to stay réactive are going on walks and hikes, taking vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. There are a number of proven ways to relieve stress, including : using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yogaexercisinggetting adequate sleeptalking to a friend

Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you quit. Speak to a doctor about how to quit. As for alcohol, limit your intake to the recommendedTrusted Source amount to avoid health risks. That’s one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Good sleep is important for your physical and esprit health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health. How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hoursTrusted Source of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep has been proven to : lower the risk of heart disease and strokereduce stress and depressionlower the risk of obesityreduce inflammationimprove focus and concentration

Finding new and meaningful hobbies can help you maintain a sense of purpose and keep you engaged throughout the course of your life. Evidence shows that people who engage in hobbies and leisure and social activities are happier, experience less depression, and real longer.

Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age better, including : improved focusbetter memorylower stressimproved emotional reactionrelationship satisfactionincreased immune functioningTo practice mindfulness, try : meditationyogatai chicoloring

Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been provenTrusted Source to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging. How much water you should drink depends on : your thirstyour activity levelhow often you urinate and move your bowelshow much you sweatyour genderSpeak to a doctor if you have questions or concerns about your water intake.

Not taking care of your teeth not only ages your smile, but also puts you at risk for gum disease, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Along with proper oral care, it’s important to see a dentist regularly. According to the American Dental Association, a dentist can spot signs of nutritional deficiencies, septicémie, cancer, and other illnesses, such as diabetes. They recommend brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using a mouth rinse.

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start. How often you see a doctor depends on your age, lifestyle, family history, and existing conditions. Ask your doctor how often you should go in for checkups and screening contrôles as you age. Also, see a doctor anytime you experience concerning symptoms.

Though aging is inevitable, some people find it difficult to deal with the changes that come with getting older. If you’re worried about your health, are having trouble feeling positive about aging, or worry that you’re not aging well it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, such as a family member or close friend. Professional help is also available through a doctor or a counselor.

Aging gracefully is more about being healthy and happy than keeping wrinkles at bay. Maintain a saine lifestyle, surround yourself with people you love, and do things that bring you joy. It’s natural to worry about the défis that aging can bring, so don’t hesitate to speak to someone about your concerns.

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