We’ve climbed the hill in our lives, but we’re not going down the hill — we stay on top and enjoy the scenery.
David Lereah, PhD

How do you feel about becoming older? Do you see it as a rite of passage or a dreaded occurrence that you must endure?

As we become older, “health” means more than simply being free of illnesses. Every older person may achieve “positive aging,” also known as “healthy aging,” if they strive to make better alternatives to improve their life in the long run.

Dr. David Lereah, PhD, is one of the few who fully grasps this concept. Thus, don’t miss another life-changing episode of This Is Getting Old: Moving Towards An Age-Friendly World with Dr. David Lereah, PhD. Let’s all take a leaf out of his book as he shares his life story, how he survived stage three esophageal cancer, and show how minor changes to your daily habits may help you enjoy your years as much as possible.

Part One Of ‘How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging’

The Power Positive Aging: A Potpourri Of Rich Experiences

Dr. David Lereah’s book, The Power Positive Aging, started from a vision of helping older adults in need combined with his cancer battle journey, his Meals on Wheels volunteering realizations, and missions from his non-profit organization United We Age.

Diagnosed with stage three esophageal cancer, Dr. David Lereah went on a journey — a terrible journey. He went through intense chemotherapy, radiation, and a seven-hour surgery.

That’s where it all started for Dr. David Lereah. He looked at life-threatening diseases as an inconvenience. He researched how to cope with aging, and that’s where he discovered the power of positive aging. One thing led to another, and he wrote the book—The Power Positive Aging.

You may experience some loss in strength as a normal part of aging, but a decline in and of itself isn’t normal.
Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN

How To Have A Positive Experience With Aging?

Personally, Dr. David Lereah discovered six building blocks for positive aging. He relates it to everyone through his book because he believes everyone is in the same boat coping with physical and mental decline as we grow old.

The Six Building Blocks To Cope With Aging 

  • Tapping With Our Spirit – We all know about our spirit, we talk about it, but we don’t do anything about it. Instead, we worry about wrinkles on our face. We worry about losing our mobility. We may be physically declining, but our spirit could be strengthening. Thus, tapping into your spirit while physically declining is a significant asset and helps people confront the marks of aging.
  • Positivity – Which is using affirmations and a lot of different techniques to stay positive.
  • Mindfulness – Living in the present moment, which is the meditative practice of an optimistic age.
  •  The Four A’s Of Positive Aging:
    • Accept: Accept your mark of aging, whether mobility loss, age spots, wrinkles, or accept it.
    • Adapt: After accepting comes adapting, which means using a walker when you’ve lost your mobility.
    • Appreciate: Appreciate everything you have in life while confronting a mark of aging like mobility and loss.
    • Attitude: You have to have the right mindset about aging. We’ve climbed the hill in our lives. But you know what? We’re not going down the hill. We’ll stay on top and look at the scenery—that’s what attitude is all about with aging.
  • Social Support – We’re social animals, we’re human beings, and we need support from friends and family. Such support is essential when you’re aging because you may be losing your spouse at some point. You may be losing some close friends. Thus, it would be best if you expand your social network continually.
  • Balance – When you age, you get out of balance. You’re no longer bringing up a family with children. You’re no longer striving in your career to get better and better at what you’re doing now. You’re retired, you’re an empty nester, and you’ve got time on your hands—you’re out of balance. And when you’re out of balance, you experience stress, and you experience anxiety. We need to stay balanced in our twilight years, and that helps immensely.

 

Part Two Of ‘How to Age Well: The Power Positive Aging’

United We Age—Social Support For older adults In Need

The United We Age non-profit organization came from Dr. David Lereah’s experience with Meals on Wheels, where he delivers hot meals to older adults in need.

While volunteering for Meals from Wheels, he noticed that half the older adults on his route lost their zest for life. They were just like if you’re in a laundry room waiting for the clothes to dry.

One reason was that they did not have social interaction as they were vacant of any social interaction. They didn’t have a family; no family was visiting them. It turns out that half the people in long-term care facilities don’t have family visiting them for one reason or another. It might be because their children live a thousand miles away, or they don’t have a relationship with their family at all—they’re lonely.

The best thing is to eliminate your expectations when you’re in your twilight years, have possibilities instead—that way, you won’t be disappointed. – David Lereah, PhD

From there, Dr. David Lereah created United We Age, where they …

  • Assure that every person experiencing a quality of life that declines due to aging has a social support network, especially living alone.
  • Raise awareness and image building for older adults.
  • Assure that age is not a barrier to older adults participating in the online (internet) world.​
  • Inspire a movement where all generations of people are more aware and supportive of people aging.​
  • Assure that age is not a barrier to older adults participating in the online (internet) world​.
  • Inspire a movement that affects changes in cultural beliefs and attitudes to make America a more age-friendly nation.

About David Lereah, PhD: 

Dr. David Lereah was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer, went on a journey, and wrote the Power of Positive Aging, then he created the non-profit, United We Age, which is designed to support older adults in need.

Other Valuable Resources From Dr. David Lereah:

  • Amazon Alexa and Echo Dot use Speak2, a voice technology platform, provides older adults in need to reduce social isolation and is available for free. Voice-assisted way to connect to the internet, send and receive messages using voice commands.
    Echo Show 2
  • To purchase a copy of The Power of Positive Aging – click here

Connect With Dr. David Lereah, PhD: 

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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at MelissaBPhD.com to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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