URBANA, Ill. – Age may just be a number, but 2020 is putting that statement to the test. University of Illinois Extension educators offer suggestions for handling the physical and emotional challenges of aging, especially in light of the current health challenges.  

“Now more than ever, we could all use encouragement and practical ways to slow down and enjoy the art of healthy aging,” says Karla Belzer, Extension family life educator. “Throughout September, learn ways to face aging with confidence and positivity in a free online webinar series.”

Discover Healthy Aging begins Sept. 3 and will give practical tips from research-based information to enhance the elder years. “Small changes can have a positive impact,” Belzer says. “This series targets the aging population, though it’s never too early to practice living well.”

Each of the four webinars begins at 10 a.m. each Thursday in September. One may click the link of each webinar title to access the registration link.

Webinar topics include:

  • Sept. 3: I’m Positive, I’m Aging: The series kicks off exploring the characteristics of positive aging with a discussion on ageism and the similarities of older and younger generations. Through these discussions, Cheri Burcham and Tessa Hobbs-Curley, Illinois Extension family life educators, stress the importance of positivity-infused lifestyle choices, friendships, and attitudes in healthy aging.
  • Sept. 10: Looking for the Funny Side of Life: “Humor has both physical and psychological health benefits,” says Hobbs-Curley. "It’s medicine for the soul.” Hobbs-Curley and Chelsey Byers, Extension family life educators, will demonstrate ways to use humor to cope with stress and changes in life.
  • Sept.17: Finding Your Get Up and Go: Most everyone has days, or seasons of life, where it’s hard to find motivation to accomplish tasks. Belzer and Molly Hofer, Illinois Extension family life educators, help listeners hone in on what causes motivational ups and downs and give ideas on how to boost enthusiasm and increase productivity.
  • Sept. 24: Someday is Today — Live Your Bucket List: Live life to the fullest by checking off items on your bucket list.  Beyers and Belzer challenge participants to put goals and dreams down on paper and actively pursue one bucket list item at a time.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any of these programs, please contact Belzer at kbelzer@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs.

SOURCE: Karla Belzer, Extension Educator, Family Life, University of Illinois Extension

WRITER: Carissa Mann, Extension Communications

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.