BRENDA STARR WOODS
Starr Programs Founder &
Positive Aging Advocate
HEALTH & WELL NESS TRAINING
FULL SPECTRUM DANCE INSTRUCTION VIA CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Positive aging focuses on the challenges and opportunities available as people grow older, applying a whole of community and a whole of life approach to aging. Positive aging seeks the continuing inclusion of people in the broad spectrum of mainstream community life as they age. Seeing older people as positive contributors and assets, rather than from a negative and problem focused perspective.
The concept of “Positive Aging” embraces a number of factors, including health, financial security, independence, self-fulfillment, spiritual growth, community attitude, personal safety and security, and the physical environment. The underpinning promise is that the years of “older age” should be both viewed and experienced positively. The focus is therefore not only on the experience of older individuals, but also on younger generations’ attitudes, expectations, and actions regarding aging and older people. Prompting positive attitudes to aging is the first step to achieving this goal.
The ability to age positively is assisted by good investment in education throughout life to provide individuals with a repertoire of skills and ability to set and achieve goals. It is also dependent on an environment that provides opportunities for older people to remain involved in society. Positive aging policies aim to improve each individual’s life experience and create an environment that offers opportunities for continuing participation.
Retirement from paid workforce does not mean that people cease to contribute to society. It provides opportunities for participation in different ways and in a range of roles as employees, volunteers, family members, neighbors, caregivers, committee and trust members, business mentors and advisors, and community members.
The benefits of positive aging for individuals are obvious including good health, independence, intellectual stimulation, self-fulfillment and friendship. Society as a whole has a lot to gain from these outcomes. A happy and confident agiing population contributes a wealth of expertise and skills to the community and the workforce, places less demand on social services, and provides positive role models for younger generations.