Accepting and Preventing

As a person with an arthritic disease, I know first-hand the challenge of accepting what my body can and can’t do and learning to work with it and prevent further injury to myself. It’s an important step to take. It can be challenging at first, bet eventually these life adjustments become well-integrated and make things easier. It does, however, take some work.


The American Psychological Association recommends several coping strategies for those who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. These strategies can also be applied to aging and certain injuries. Start by writing down all your questions and discussing them with your doctor. Educate yourself about your condition, so you know all the details; knowledge is power. Seek out a support group that can help you on the days that are hard for your mind and your body. Set short-term goals. You might push yourself to a day trip, or a reach new level of flexibility, or even develop athletic skills (that are reasonable considering your condition).

Of course, some conditions are easier to accept than others, and it’s okay to have a range of responses to a new diagnosis (or realization that your condition has changed). A chronic illness, such as sleep apnea, is difficult to accept at first, but eventually it becomes a normal part of an otherwise healthy life and can often be effectively managed with medications or equipment, such as a CPAP machine. On the other hand, a stage 3 cancer diagnosis is and will require more radical acceptance, as it will be a more drastic emotional roller coaster.


Part of the acceptance process includes having a plan of action. You can generate a lot of peace of mind by setting protective and preventive measures in place for yourself. Any elements in your life that you can control are important to pay attention to. These include eating healthy meals, taking medications the way you should, and staying in good physical shape. For those who have had a recent surgery or are experiencing limited mobility, it is essential to prevent a fall or further injury. Installing walk-in tubs, railings, and non-slippery flooring is going to play a big role in keeping off other problems. Sometimes, a disease such as diabetes, or an injury caused by some kind of collision, can weaken and damage parts of the body you wouldn’t associate with the disease. You’ll want to pay attention to these potential side effects. For instance, if you have weakened or damaged teeth, you may need dentures, which in turn require their own protective measures, like making a good investment in high-quality teeth such as are offered at this specialized denture clinic in Calgary.

For those who are aging, the time may come when you’ll need to decide if you should live in a retirement center or assisted living facility. This may initially seem like a hard and demoralizing step along the aging process. There’s a positive side to it, however; moving into a retirement center, for instance, doesn’t spell any kind of doom; rather, it can prevent and slow down the aging process by allowing providing a safer environment in which you can stay supported, active, and within access to resources that will improve your quality of life.