There is a saying “age is just a number”, but when that number is a big number, then we want to make sure it is a life well lived. For seniors, it is vital to live a life with purpose and meaning and maintain connections with friends, family and community.
So in order to encourage seniors to live full happy lives, Dr. Dale Anderson created National Wellderly Day in 2004. Dr. Anderson suggests that you should start each day by standing in front of a mirror and letting out a huge belly laugh, in order to set the tone for the day ahead. He said that people can do this at any age, even if they are old. By doing so, those who are elderly will instead be "WELLderly." Dr. Anderson wrote the book Never Act Your Age about many benefits that laughter has on your health.
If you are not elderly, you can celebrate the day as Act Happy Day, which is a similar holiday that can be celebrated by people of all ages.
National Wellderly Day kicks off Wellderly Week. It is first and foremost about improving “quality of life” not just adding years to life. There is a big difference between the number of years you live, or life span, and the number of years you live in optimal health, or health span.
with 70+ ideas on How to live well and create QUALITY YEARS not just quantity of years plus a blank worksheet to ad you own!
Researchers are in the process of studying men and women who are at least 85 years of age who have lived long lives devoid of chronic disease (with the exception of arthritis). These people have a very long health span. So, instead of studying people with disease, these researchers are focusing on what actually keeps certain individuals so healthy for such a long time. In doing so, they hope to uncover solutions that nature has provided to protect against disease.
While we wait for more to come from the Wellderly study, there are still things you can do to improve your “health-span”.
1) Aim to be wellderly. There appear to be at least three subgroups of wellderly.
The Super Wellderly: The Super Wellderly are people 80+ years old and are do not have any chronic disease except arthritis.
The Wellderly: A Wellderly person is someone 80+ years old who is living with a chronic health conditions yet is still a positive, hopeful, and empowering person.
The Thrive Well: If you're under the age of 80 and are enjoying good health, then you're a member of the Thrive Well. The "60 is the ne new 50" is how best way to look at this. The Baby Boomers have changed EVERYTHING. Yes, many have aches and pains but they ,ay also have survived tough disease challenges and still live well!
2) Focus on achieving a long health span. The goal is not to live long--that's the life span (quantity of years) but rather live the most joyful healthspan possible (quality of years). Health span years are ones characterized by independent, vibrant, joyful, satisfying, and vital living, either devoid of impairment or with minimal impairment as a result of disease or disability
3) Practice a healthy lifestyle. It is about building a lifestyle that nourishes the physical, mental, and spiritual body. Create opportunities to do what you couldn't do while you were working or raising children. This often helps to maintain physical and mental health, while providing social connections as well as an increase in physical activity.