Utz, R. L., PhD, Berg, C. A.
, PhD, & Butner, J.,PhD. (2017, February 01). Volume 57 Issue 1 | The Gerontologist | OxfordAcademic.
Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/issue/57/1Torpy, M.
J. (2016, November 08). Frailty in OlderAdults. Retrieved November 20, 2017, fromhttps://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204046Risk factors of ill health among older people. (2017,December 11). Retrieved December 11, 2017, from http://www.euro.
who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/healthy-aging/data-and-statistics/risk-factors-of-ill-health-among-older-peopleJosefsson, K., Gmeiner, J.
, & Karlsson, J. (2015).Older adults’ experiences of participating in a study circle about aging anddrugs. Healthy Aging Research, 1-9. doi:10.
T.Goals. (2012, May 10). University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904 http://www.
hr.virginia.edu/uploads/documents/media/Writing_SMART_Goals.pdfHealth Promotion, Disease Prevention and HealthyAging. (n.
d.). Retrieved November 20, 2017, from Health Promotion, DiseasePrevention and Healthy Aging – https://www.ncoa.org/Gyllencreutz, L.
, & Saveman, B. (2015). Everydayoutdoor mobility in old age: Focus group interviews with active seniorcitizens. Healthy Aging Research, 4, 1-10. doi:10.
12715/har.2015.4.32References: Fromthis reflection and my time spent in this class, my views on health, aging,older adults, and caring for older adults has changed slightly.
I am very cognizant of my health and what Ido now greatly impacts how I act later in life. My views on older adults are that they can be fully functioning, contributingmembers of society, or hospital bound, needing the utmost care and help. Regardless of their physical condition, boththe healthy and the infirmed, I treat no different. In my practice and in life generally, I treateveryone that I encounter in the manner as how I want to be treated. Politeness, empathy, caring, jovial,supportive, etcetera, are just a few adjectives that I would use when Idescribe how I treat and view not only the elderly, but all people I meet andknow. It is interesting to note that ofall the articles that we read and of all the videos that we watched, what Igained the most knowledge or insight from was from our discussions in theclassroom. The topic of ageism wasdiscussed and we all agree that although ageism is real and it exists, itdoesn’t have to. The elderly are moreinsightful than most of us give credit for.
Listen to them and learn from them as they have a lifetime ofexperience.Unlikemy classmates, I have an advantage, or disadvantage depending on one’s point ofview, on the aging process. To some ofmy classmates, getting older is so far away that it is the farthest thought ontheir minds. For me, knowing that as a51 year old male, my elderly years are a short distance away. For me, aging is meaningful to my life. As I have aged and grown, I experiencedmultiple changes in my life. Aging iscrucial because it makes us move from one state of experience to another andmakes us discover new things in life.
Staying physically, mentally, and socially fit and active, to this point,has helped me experience aging in a healthy way. Healthy aging, from my point of view, makesone stronger and more energetic. Healthyaging is meaningful to me in terms of my actions and how I related to my lovedones and my friends. For me, growing oldshould not be feared, but embraced, embraced with excitement, joy, and with humilityfor the great things yet to come.Self-Reflection The above goals fall perfectly into the S.
M.A.R.T. goallogarithm and will be beneficial for my mind and body as I age.
To incorporate the “be more active” objective,I plan to walk or ride a bike for thirty minutes a day for five of the sevendays of the week. Each walk or ride willbe tracked in a daily log and I can make this attainable by exercising with mywife. Realistically, I will need tostart slow, maybe at 15 to 20 minutes in the beginning then moving to longerdurations as my stamina increases. Thesecond objective of “losing twenty-five pounds” is a great target number forme. I can obtain this objective overthe next twelve months and track it by recording weekly weigh-ins. Once this objective has been met, then thiscan be adjusted for maintaining a healthy weight. As for the eating healthier option, the goal goingforward is to make healthy eating a lifelong habit and to do this I will noteat fast-food and curb my junk food habits. Accomplishment of this is by preparing menus, preparing meals ahead oftime, making use of crock pots, and replacing junk food with healthieroptions.
As with the exercise plan, mywife can be my partner to help me achieve this and to ensure completion of thisobjective a menu book will be created along with a food journal which tracks myeating choices. This will be measuredover a twelve month period and using the journal I can verify if the objectivewas accomplished. These objectives areobtainable and I do realize that there will be times where I may fall short andmay even regress a bit while making these lifestyle changes. I am an optimist though and through theseS.M.A.
R.T. goal objectives, dedication, and even hard work, there should be noreason why I should not be standing tall on one of those mountains. So where do I see myself when I reach ninety years? Just like the picture that I included in thisreflection, the goal is to be standing in a similar pose, back somewhere downin the Grand Canyon, or one of a numerous other fantastic places like it.
To reach those dreams, and using the S.M.A.R.T.
goal logarithm, I have started making changes to my lifestyle. Using the S.M.A.R.T.
goal logarithm, and inorder for me to see myself at the age of ninety as indicated in the pictureincluded in this reflection, I have already implemented the following; to bemore active; to lose twenty-five pounds; and to eat healthier to maintainoptimal health. As I reflect on my life and ponder my future, I askmyself what am I doing or what do I need to do so that I can be physically andmentally fit so that I can reach and attain my goals and dreams. Within those thoughts, and as they say, withage comes wisdom, those goals and dreams can be reached by acting now. But the actions I take today cannot beunrealistic or one that I find too difficult to perform and give up on. So in order to reach those goals, they shouldbe set up using the S.M.A.
R.T. criteria. As stated on the University of Virginia’s Human Resources page, “AS.M.A.
R.T. goal is defined as one that is specific, measureable, achievable,results-focused, and time-bound” (UVA, 2012). Defined within the acronyms, the letter “S” means that the objective should by clear and detailed as towhat you are going to do.
“M” states that the objective should bemeasureable so that you have proof of accomplishment while “A” indicates that the objective is realistic and obtainable. “R”simply states that the applied objective outcome should be measured, not theactivity itself, and “T” representsthat the objectives results should be reached in a set period of time.Self-CarePlan My health now is generally well, however there is alwaysroom for improvement.
I have no familyhistory of any cognitive or psychological defects so when I am ninety I expectthat my mental capacity will be the same as it is today. Physically, today, I could stand to lose moreweight and utilize the gym more than I am now as this would only bolster ahealthier lifestyle later on. All in allthough, at age ninety, I see myself as I saw my parents as well as theirparents, living a full, prosperous, productive, and healthy life. When I am ninety, I would like to think that I am stillmarried to my lovely wife and we are still able to enjoy life to itsfullest. We currently have a cat now andI am pretty sure we will outlive her. Iknow we would like to get another pet, but my wife and I disagree as to itbeing either a cat (her) or dog (me). Soduring my later years, living life to its fullest, we have another cat, maybetwo, and quite frankly, I am good with that. With all the extended trips to explore, hike, and camp, it would be ahardship to leave the dog alone.
Butthen again, it would be easier to take a dog versus a cat – I’ll have to workon that. The picture at the end of this reflection is a copy of apicture of me taken many years ago while hiking the Grand Canyon. As mentioned in the belief section, I am anoptimistic, and with that being said, I still see myself hiking the canyon aswell as many other places.
We all havegoals for the future, and my future goals are in the preparation stagestoday. My wife and I share the same goalwhich is to move to Arizona and retire there. The reality is that this goal will happen in less than four years. We both love the southwest and plan to takeadvantage of all it has to offer. Withinour goal, is to purchase our dream home, big enough to accommodate all of ourchildren. All this planning, moving, andpreparation will hopefully take me well into my nineties.
SelfPortraitIam optimistic my future holds great adventures for my wife and I. I feel that aging is not to be feared but tobe accepted. I realize and recognizethat there will be limitations and that the things I did in my twenties I maynot be able to do in my seventies.
Butthat does not mean that I need to give in and not enjoy my elderly years. I am in my early fifties now and I have somuch living left to do. I am taking stepsto ensure that as I age I can enjoy myself, just as I did in my twenties.Mymother was a huge influence on me and even today I recollect her advice when Ifelt down or when things were not going well for me. I always thought I was looking for asympathetic ear when I discussed those tough days, but I realize now that shewas reminding me that my glass should always be half full. When I talked to her about what was goingwrong in my life, she would quickly remind me and tell me that I had twooptions.
One was to either sit in thecorner and wallow in my pity and let my situation control me, or two, meet mysituation head on and take control of my situation. As an optimist, I always chose the latter. I was raised in a loving, caring family where not only myparents took an interest in my development, but so did my extended family suchas my aunts and uncles. As far back as Ican remember, growing up my parents never looked at their elders with distainor thinking they were burdens. Theelders in my family as well as those not in my family were treated withrespect, dignity, and were highly thought of. My grandparents lived full lives, as does my parents. My father today is leading an independent life,fully functioning as well as a fully contributing member to not only his familybut to his peers and community.
As I wasraised, I too shall live my life. I liketo think that I have been a good father to all my children and helped them torealize that as we age we do not have to slow down. I think the best advice I gave them is that aswe age, we do have to get older but we do not have to grow up. The question for this section is, “Am I a glass half fullor empty type of person?” Without adoubt, I am a half full person, meaning more optimistic than pessimistic. For most of my life, I have always seenmyself this way.
There have been times thatI felt I was pessimistic, but on a whole, I always tried to remainoptimistic. I realized that during mypessimistic times, things that I worried about were things that were not in mycontrol and the results or consequences were going to happen no matter what Idid. It was during those times that Ireminded myself that remaining optimistic is not only more healthy, but when Iexpect good things to happen, they usually do.
BeliefsWhat makes me most nervous about aging and not beingable to reach my goals is frailty. Olderadults are weaker and present with many complex medical problems, often needingassistance performing activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, ortoileting. Unfortunately, “women tend tobe frailer than men as they tend to live longer than their male counter parts”(Torpy, 2016). That fact alone does notexclude that males too become frailer as they age. In my case, a factor that is a risk factor isa lack of exercise. I do exercise onceor twice a week, but I should increase the frequency of exercise sessions to becomemore physically fit and to extend my chances of staying active as I age. Frailty is also “how the individual perceivesthemselves” (Torpy, 2016) so keeping my mind, or cognition, active in conjunctionwith being physically active is just as important as we age.
I currently enjoying playing word puzzles inmy downtime and as a nurse, utilizing my critical thinking skills on a dailybasis also helps keep my mind focused. And as always, eating nutritional meals every day also helps delay theeffects of aging.”Poverty,social isolation and exclusion is prevalent with today’s elderly” (WHO,2017). With costs related to health careand prescription drugs rising, many older adults simply cannot afford thesenecessary items. Likewise, socialisolation and exclusion are risk factors that affect the elderly as well. These risk factors affect many aspects ofhealth and well-being which include mental health.
Fortunately, I have been prosperous in thefact that my future outlook will be secure, far from these risk factors. What I have done in the past and today hasallowed me to be socially and economically stable, with a loving family thatsupports one another unconditionally. As we learned in class, risk factors can be any conditionthat may have a damaging effect on one’s health and functioning. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), “as we age, these risk factors can be prevented or reduced by addressingvarious risk factors earlier in life.
Byaddressing at an early age poverty, social isolation, exclusion, injury, andfrailty” (WHO, 2017), we can live a long, prosperous life. RiskFactorsWhen it comes to my own aging, I understand myweaknesses and strengths. My strengthsrange from being fit, healthy and active.
But above all, I would like to think that mymain strength is knowledge. Through theeducation I have received and am still receiving, I have knowledge and knowresources that will be able to assist me as I grow older. From “prevention to community-based solutionssuch as available health care close to an individual, through empowerment ofself-direction, self-determination, and self-advocacy, all facets of agingshould be taken advantage of” (NCOA, n.d.). I know and understand that I need to be better at eating healthy meals,lose weight, and exercise more so that as I age, I can enjoy life as I dotoday. As they say, knowledge is power.
Healthyaging is obtainable. I have familymembers that have lived full and productive lives well into their late 70’s and80’s. During this semester, we reviewednumerous topics, from demographics of aging, aging theories, age related changes,to assessment and medications of the older adult. Strengths can be found in allof those topics and more, but it remains up to the individual to harness those strengths.
Elderly people are an interesting demographic. They are strong, independent, full of life. It is interesting to note, one studyfound that “being aged 65 years and older, most individuals did not want toidentify themselves as old” (Gyllencreutz &Saveman, 2015). Another study found thatolder adults “do not wish to be passive recipients’ of medication treatments,but to take an interest and a bigger role regarding the medications they arebeing prescribed” (Josefsson, Gmeiner, & Karlsson, 2015). Those two statements alone are very powerfulstrengths; not wanting to be identified as old and being knowledgeable while beingan active participant in their own management of medications.