If there's one thing I'm taking away from working at the nursing home it's this: Keep moving and learning.
I have residents who can't stand up straight. Not because of debilitating illness or injury, but because one day, something hurt and they stopped doing the thing that hurt. Then, one day, another activity hurt, so they stopped doing that, too. Pretty soon, the things they didn't do anymore outnumbered the things they did do. Now, they sit in chairs until someone can help them to the bathroom and they cry because it hurts to move from the wheelchair to the toilet.
Recent research indicates that learning new things prevents Alzheimer's Disease. Whether it's true or not, it never hurts to gain knowledge. Educating yourself may help your brain stay young just as exercising helps your body stay young.
Keep in mind, I'm not talking about folks who've had cancer or a stroke or a broken hip. I'm talking about folks who just let themselves decline until they have limited themselves to recliners, wheelchairs and crying because they hurt so bad all the time.