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'It makes me feel younger': The importance of staying active for aging adults

Solstice Senior Living in Bangor embraces the importance of healthy, holistic lifestyles for seniors by offering residents a variety of different activities.

BANGOR, Maine — The United States is in the midst of a major population shift regarding age -- and Maine is the state with the oldest median age.

The Senate Aging Committee held a hearing in Washington D.C. Wednesday called "Promoting Healthy Aging: Living Your Best Life Long Into Your Golden Years". Republican Chairman Sen. Susan Collins and Ranking Member Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) convened the hearing.

Throughout the morning, the Committee focused on finding strategies to help older adults adopt holistic lifestyles that include proper nutrition, exercise, preventive care, and staying socially engaged. 

September is Healthy Aging Month.

Predictions from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that by 2035, adults ages 65 and older will outnumber children. While a report from the Department of Health and Human Services shows older adults are, on average, experiencing better overall health -- living longer has also led to more physical and behavioral health challenges.

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Solstice Senior Living in Bangor is an independent living community that encourages aging adults to stay active through a variety of physical and social activities.

Resident Herbert Colson has lived at Solstice for three years. He says he loves the activities the facility offers -- and does his best to stay active in his own time, too.

"It makes me feel younger for one thing," Colson told NEWS CENTER Maine. "And it makes me feel that, you know, I want to do it. I want to keep doing it as long as I can."

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Ruth Kennedy has been at Solstice for a year longer than Colson. She agrees that staying active is very important, especially as people get older -- and even when doing so gets hard, it's important to try.

"Just make up your mind to do it, and start doing it. You have to be determined," Kennedy expressed. "I mean, I wouldn’t do the things I do every day if I didn’t have determination, you know? A lot of days I don’t feel like going out and walking, but I know I should. So, I do it."

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Solstice holds events throughout the month, like Yahtzee, Tai Chi, and Wii Bowling -- among many others -- for residents to join.