Vital Aging Network

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How Can You Age with Gusto?

by Aging-with-Gusto Task-Force April 25, 2014

The Vital Aging Network, in partnership with the Gray Panthers, has led Aging with Gusto discussions in six locations during March and April 2014. We have had an exceptional level of interest in the discussions and participants provide contributed great insights into what it means to age.

We hope the Aging with Gusto discussions will:

  • Encourage more positive views of aging.
  • Heighten appreciation for the capacity of people of all ages to contribute in their families and communities.
  • Increase awareness of ideas, behaviors and practices that are based on misconceptions and biases about older people.
  • Develop ideas for how to “age with gusto.”

One group completed the series of three discussions in Saint Paul on April 21. They generated an outstanding list of steps that we can take in our own lives, in our families, in our communities and in society to "age with gusto." Download the list as pdf.

Here is the list to get your juices going. We would love to hear your additions. Scroll to the bottom to add notes.

(* indicates repeated responses)


Look up not down
Beware of messages
Decrease stress
*Keep on learning
*Exercise, move more, dance!
**Balance – physical and all other
It’s all the little things that adds up to something big
**Spiritual balance
*Travel (local/outside)
Get more diversity of thinking and interaction
**Keep on laughing
Be proud of your age
**Cultivate friendships of all ages
No excuses based on age
*Diet, eat healthy
*Pay attention to health
Own who you are!


*Define who family is – What does family mean?
Talk to husband about future
*Create living will and power of attorney
Make plans for who gets what
*Set an example
Talk to people all generations
Own and model your age
Appreciate what you have and had
*Clear the air if needed (face family issues)
*Share your feelings
Stay connected
Move closer (or further away!)
Be positive role model for younger generation
Talk about future
*Share family stories
*Share what you want people to remember
*Talk with family openly re age, wisdom with laughter
Welcome diversity
Appreciate your heritage
Sharing your stories


Telling the stigma of aging
Method acting for positive aging
Intergenerational opportunities
Living connectivity intergenerational
Be a role model
Avoid people  who don’t want GUSTO!
Surround yourself with “Gusties”
See people as people
Find a way to contribute idea, talent, time
**Get to know your neighbors
*Get more involved civically, society, faith community, etc.
Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer!
Offer your time and treasures
Engage folks who need a voice
Become a “gustie”
Reachout to others who are isolated
Create opportunities to engage


Change the definition of aging – aging=breathing
Open minds – listening
Welcoming all
**Awareness of “ageist” language
Organizing a protest
Education on mental health and other health issues
Intergenerational interactions
New types of living options
Better viewpoints, less stigma
Government policy (housing/medical system)
Be in communication with lawmakers
*Advocate change/advocacy groups
*Participate in political process
Create mixed age groups for projects
Embrace diversity
Write letters to the editor, etc
Vote, encourage others
*Show up – speak up, never give up



Judy Wolters - April 28, 2014
Good list...How about try new things?


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