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Southwind District

Adult Development and Aging

The proportion of older adults in the United States is growing at an unprecedented rate.  By 2050, Americans aged 65 or older may number nearly 89 million (more than double their number in 2010).  The rapid aging of the U.S. population is being driven by two realities: Americans are living longer lives and the post-World War II baby boom has resulted in proportionately more older adults.  The aging of our population has wide-ranging implications for virtually every facet of American society, including public health, housing and community needs, and family development.

K-State Research and Extension Adult Development and Aging programming enriches the lives of Kansans and their families by addressing health and wellness needs unique to older adults or those that influence an individual's ability to age well. Our current research-based community education endeavors specifically address the challenges commonly associated with aging, preparing for your future health care, recognizing the signs of Alzheimer's disease, and more.

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Essential Steps to Healthy Aging

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout your life is the most important step to healthy and successful aging.  Research on centenarians, people 100 years and older, shows that 12 essential steps to healthy aging contribute to longevity.

  1. Maintain a positive attitude.
  2. Eat healthfully.
  3. Engage in regular physical activity.
  4. Exercise your brain.
  5. Engage in social activity.
  6. Practice lifelong learning.
  7. Prioritize safety.
  8. Visit the doctor regularly.
  9. Manage your stress.
  10. Practice good financial management.
  11. Get enough sleep.
  12. Take at least 10 minutes a day for yourself.

Since there is no magic potion to stop the aging process, it is important to take care of your body, mind and spirit throughout your whole life.  By incorporating these 12 steps and other healthy behaviors into your daily life you can encourage optimal aging throughout the life span.