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Embracing Empowerment: Taking Control Of Your Aging Journey

May 27, 2024 General

In a society that often glorifies youth and associates aging with decline and shame, it’s essential to challenge this narrative and recognize that by acknowledging our aging journey and being thoughtful about how we want to age is powerful. We often think of youth as a goal, which is ludicrous. I am older now than when I woke up this morning and that is just a fact! Let’s start to address the elephant in the room and take control of our aging journey. To take control back and stay independent longer and more successfully, we need to shift our thinking around aging in general.    

  1. Get out of Denial and Become Self Aware

    Getting out of denial and embracing self- awareness in relation to our aging journey requires courage, introspection, and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. This process involves examining one’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviors surrounding aging, as well as exploring any fears or insecurities that may be hindering self-awareness. Through reflection and introspection, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with aging, allowing them to cultivate a more positive and empowered perspective on the aging process.  Embracing self-awareness enables individuals to make conscious choices about how they approach aging, empowering them to live independently and in control longer.   

  2. Don’t Fear Aging, Become Empowered

    Feeling empowered rather than fearful of aging is a mindset shift that unlocks a wealth of opportunities for personal growth, fulfillment, and control. Instead of viewing aging as a decline or loss of vitality, individuals can embrace it as a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. By reframing aging as a time of opportunity rather than limitations, individuals can nurture a sense of purpose and agency in navigating the later stages of life. When individuals approach aging with a sense of empowerment, they are more inclined to discuss their aging goals and desires and put a plan in place to support them, therefore promoting a more independent life.  

  3. Don’t Be a Vulnerable Consumer, Become an Educated One

    Becoming an educated consumer as we age is a critical step towards maintaining autonomy, safeguarding financial resources, and ensuring well-being later in life. Rather than succumbing to the stereotype of the vulnerable older consumer, individuals can empower themselves by actively seeking knowledge, staying informed about consumer rights, and making informed decisions about potential products or services they may encounter along their aging journey. By focusing on becoming an educated consumer you can make choices that align with your values, preferences, and long-term goals. Education empowers aging individuals to assert their rights, advocate for themselves and navigate the complex aging marketplace with confidence.  

  4. Stop Being Reactive and Start Being Proactive

    Being proactive rather than reactive to aging is an approach that empowers individuals to take control of their health, well-being, and overall quality of life. Instead of waiting for age-related challenges to present themselves, proactive aging involves anticipating potential issues and implementing preventative measures to mitigate risk and promote vitality. If we are consistently just reacting every time an aging issue arises, we end of spending more money and making very big decisions while feeling overwhelmed and scared. By being proactive in our thinking and putting a basic plan together you will ensure you not only keep control of your journey, but you will most likely stay independent longer.  

In conclusion, staying in control as we age requires a shift in mindset away from the notion of youth being a goal. Instead, it’s about embracing the reality of aging and being thoughtful about how you want your aging journey to go. By challenging the stereotypes and embracing our aging, we will become more empowered and be more fulfilled. To find peace and joy we need to embrace where we are today and prepare for what may come tomorrow. The process of planning for your aging journey can be emotional, but it will be worth it! It will be a gift to your support system as they will be able to enjoy time with you and not feel overwhelmed or lost on how to help. You can keep control of your journey; it just requires a little thoughtfulness.   


Allison O’Shea is the author of Openly Aging: 4 Pillars to Keep Control of Your Aging Journey and the owner and founder of Openly Aging, LLC. Allison works with aging adults and their families to gather the information needed to create a long- and short-term strategy to maintain independence as long as possible while being educated on all their options for the future. Allison and her clients engage in open dialogue about what is important to them, and then create a strategy of education so her clients maintain independence and control throughout their aging journey. 

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