SAN DIEGO, June 10, 2014 — At the age of 68, acclaimed and world-renowned actress Helen Mirren is unstoppable.
Beginning her acting career at the British National Youth Theatre, Mirren later performed at the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.
Winning an Academy Award in 2006 for her leading role in the film The Queen, Mirren’s acting career has spanned over 50 years.
Mirren’s life-long engagement in creative arts, successful marriage later in life to movie director Taylor Hackford, reputation for being a modern-day sex symbol, and new movie soon to be released this summer, prove that her ability to forge her own path is nothing short of inspirational.
Mirren is a modern-day role model for healthy aging and debunking ageism.
According to a major research study, The State of Aging and Health in America 2013, the unprecedented and explosive growth in the aging population in the United States is largely due to increasing longevity overall and the aging of the Baby Boomer population.
The study estimates that since 2011, 10,000 persons have been turning age 65 each day, and will continue to do so for twenty years.
Further, the report reveals that by 2030, older adults will comprise approximately 20% of the overall United States population, approximately 72 million Americans.
By 2050, Americans who are age 65 or older will reach a staggering 89 million.
The social, economic, and health care impact will be astronomical as legislation, resources, funding, housing, jobs and more adjust to the ever-changing American population landscape created by the Silver Tsunami.
An emphasis on the science of aging, research in disease prevention, new treatment options for age-related illnesses and chronic conditions are necessary for ensuring the highest quality of health care for aging Americans while preserving human and financial resources necessary to accommodate this ever-increasing population.
In 2009, the United States Department of Health and Human Services estimated that once an individual turns age 60, males continued to live an average of an additional 21.3 years, while females live an additional 24.4 years–which encompasses all ethnicities.
In spite of the pervasive research statistics, how an individual chooses to live will dramatically determine whether or not they become a statistic or are able to live beyond the average life expectancy.
The Mayo Clinic offers common sense approaches for promoting healthy aging:
-Participating in daily moderate physical activity while maintaining a healthy weight.
-Eating a healthy diet primarily comprised of fruits vegetables, whole-grains, high-fiber foods, and low-fat protein sources.
-Managing stress by reducing it whenever possible or learning how to effectively deal with it.
They eat a simple diet which is largely plant-based, and consume fish, rice and soy while consuming very little red meat.
It is believed that their overall lifestyle also contributes to their longevity. Okinawans are known for their positive mental attitude and relatively low-stress lifestyle.
Japan holds the number one ranking in the world for having the highest life expectancy, while the United States trails in 37th place.
“If you want to lead a longer life and feel better, you should adopt healthy behaviors–not smoking, getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, and avoiding excessive alcohol use,” said the CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, in a 2011 news release published in WebMD.
Social engagement whether through work, volunteer activities, retirement activities, family and friends is another vital component of healthy aging.
Helen Mirren is an excellent example of healthy aging via active engagement in her beloved creative arts throughout her life, while exhibiting her zest for life and the courage to live it authentically.
Mirren expresses her viewpoint about aging in an interview with David Hochman published in AARP, “If there’s one thing that is certain, it’s that you’re not going to stay young forever….I’m not young, but I don’t feel creaky and old.”
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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