September is Healthy Aging Month

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News Release
 
For Immediate Release: 9/1/2022
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​CONTACT
Barb Tyler, Office of Communications, (531) 530-7484,
barb.tyler@nebraska.gov

Attention News Room Managers: We have provided soundbites from Charity Menefee, DHHS Director of Public Health for Operations, on WeTransfer and YouTube links.
WeTransfer: https://we.tl/t-bp4zQsnu1b​https://we.tl/t-a9inSDFcbH​
YouTube: https://youtu.be/KMPOPx9JKHkhttps://youtu.be/VTguE20bE-k


​Lincoln - Healthy Aging Month is recognized as a time to celebrate life and the positive aspects of growing older. As a person ages, physical and mental health, as well as dietary and social needs, change over time. A person can take charge of their well-being by taking steps to age with a healthy body and a healthy mind and not lose control of their well-being.

The month of September is recognized as a time to focus on health and take precautions to help face any challenges that come with aging. Lifestyles can be changed if needed to mature gracefully. It's never too late to work on health issues.

There is no “one description fits all" for successful aging. Three common components of positive healthy aging have long been the ability to avoid disease and disability, maintaining high cognitive and physical function, and being engaged in life. 

Health professionals and educators across the country have used September to educate the public on the positive aspects of growing older. Statistics show that in just a few short years, seniors will outnumber children for the first time in our nation's history. As the older population increases, along with life expectancy, society must bolster the efforts to enhance the quality of life for seniors. However, the attention is not just on the Baby Boomers (28% of the U.S. population). The Generation “Xers" (those born between 1965-1980) are gaining in numbers as well. Society must reaffirm a commitment to seniors, and also encourage all Americans to prepare for the future by living a healthy lifestyle today.

“As Nebraskans age into their golden years, Nebraska DHHS wants to ensure they have the necessary support to age gracefully and independently. I encourage residents to visit www.DHHS.NE.Gov to review the services available to help them reach this goal," said Developmental Disabilities (DD) Division Director Tony Green. The DD Division supports aged and disabled individuals through waiver services; people may also call (402) 471-6035 for information.

Setting time aside for physical activity will help lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight; however, everyone should know individual limitations and modify activities if needed. Do something enjoyable and always check with a health professional before starting an exercise program. Maintain a healthy diet; eat proper portion sizes and don't overeat. Avoid processed foods, get plenty of fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water as per guidelines for age and gender.

Staying social can be enhanced by trying online classes and staying in touch with friends and family through organizations or by volunteering. Individuals should stay positive and keep their minds active by reading or doing puzzles. Be proactive by getting regular checkups, physicals, and medical tests when needed, as many diseases can be prevented when caught early.

Use September as the motivation to take stock of past experiences and what may be some future goals. Everyone ages differently, so there are no set rules. it's never too late to start something new. Staying active and vibrant as long as possible is the ultimate goal and is the best gift to oneself. Staying physically and mentally active, as well as and nurturing social connections with friends and family are all part of the bigger picture in keeping the mind and body well.

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