Joe Pilates Aging in Place. I think he’s in his fifties in this picture.
Aging in place is the concept that you can stay in your own home and community safely as you age. Baby Boomers have started a trend of remodeling their homes to enable them to stay in one place as they get older. We can make adjustments to our home, but what about to our bodies?
I’ve noticed a lot of family, friends and clients talking about getting older—movement feeling different in their body, new aches and pains they never had before, and certain exercises getting harder than they used to be. Perhaps it’s just a phase and timing like when you are a certain age there is a year or two where everyone is getting married. A few years later your schedule is packed with baby showers. I guess I currently know a number of people that are hitting a milestone age that makes them stop, think, feel, reminisce, and remind them that time is fleeting.
It’s a challenge to know how to handle changes in our body as we get older. Each day is a new discovery. We’ve never been ourselves in our new body. We have no comparison. We don’t know if what we are feeling is something to look into or just the normal aging process. And, the only body we truly have to compare ourselves to is our younger selves. And that can be a bit of a problem.
When most forty-year-olds see a twenty-year-old appear to do something with ease that they struggle with they aren’t surprised. “Of course that’s easier for them, they are twenty years younger than me,” would be the presumption. Yet somehow we forget that twenty years have passed in our own body. We have a hard time accepting that what we did with ease at twenty may not come as easily at forty. What we did at forty will feel different at sixty, more often than not. We are always judging ourselves against our youth—a youth that will almost always have an unfair advantage.
I catch myself doing it too. You may be able to do the same movement, but now it’s harder and instead of being impressed that you still do you, you are critical that it doesn’t feel the same. We think we can still get the AC unit in and out of the window without help. And we feel like we shouldn’t need help because we used to be able to do it. The changes can be frustrating, but it isn’t all bad. Did you ever really enjoy the process of installing the AC? Let someone help. One task off your hands.