Aging Services director addresses older adult resiliency at state conference
The CAPCOG Aging Services Director, Patty Bordie, emphasized the importance of fostering individual resiliency in older adults in her presentation at the state-wide Aging in Texas Conference in June. She discussed the perception of health, people’s ability to cope with stresses, the roles of social interaction and fitness on health, assessing individual resiliency, and how aging service providers can strengthen an individual’s resiliency.
“Older adult resiliency impacts physical health, especially when it comes to social supports,” Bordie said. “Those who self-report high levels of social supports are more likely to engage in preventative healthcare and stay more resilient, while those with less social support experience more anxiety, depression and a higher use of crisis healthcare interventions.”
As people age, barriers for maintaining one’s physical and social supports increase, but organizations such as Area Agencies on Aging exist to remove those barriers by providing supports such as transportation, congregate meals, health and wellness training, and more. The goals of such programs are to provide larger social engagement paired with physical independence, which reduce depression and isolation risk factors. For instance, congregate meals and health and wellness programs bring peers together to interact in a shared-experience environment while maintaining a level of physical and independent mobility. These spaces also allow older adults to provide peer support and share their pervious personal experiences, which contribute to resiliency.
“It is important to recognizing the ways Area Agencies on Aging already support individual resilience,” Bordie said. “But there are still opportunities for more social support, and people should recognize the value of giving this through volunteering.”
Learn about the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area (AAACAP).
Find a AAACAP service.