Discussion Thread: Successful Aging
If smoking, heavy drinking, physical inactivity, depression, social isolation, and fair or poor perceived health contribute to disability in some way as you age (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2018), then non-government entities, such as friends, family, and church, need to address these concerns. However, non-government entities need to first know and understand their group and any possible socioeconomic factors that may be present, so they are able to offer the appropriate intervention and prevention programs (Cavanaugh & Blanchard-Fields, 2018). For example, a church offering Christian-based help to a group of Muslims will not be fruitful. Once the socioeconomic factors of the group are realized, then non-government entities can then begin to offer help.
One such example of help a non-government entity might offer is group physical activities. This can be weekly, or more often, physical activities in a group setting, such as playing a sport, or a less demanding activity such as a light walk or hike, in a group environment. This helps ensure older adults maintain good health and functionality, while also preventing depression and social isolation. This can be offered through a non-profit organization, a church, or even just a group of friends and/or family getting together often and doing physical activities together.
Another way a non-government entity, especially family or friends, can help older adults maintain good health and functionality is through constant gracious and positive communication and conversation. Scripture says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” (English Standard Version Bible, 2001, Proverbs 16:24). Gracious conversation is uplifting both spiritually and physically. These conversations can also be used to encourage the older adult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay active, and keep up with regular doctor visits. The greatest advantage of constant and gracious conversation between friends and family is that socioeconomic factors should pose little or no issues.
Cavanaugh, J. C., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2018). Adult development and aging. Cengage Learning.
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online. https://esv.literalword.com/