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Aging Well

person stretching in front of the rising sun near a bench on the beach

Aging is an important process that we all experience. While achieving older age may include some challenges, aging well is an obtainable goal. This is not to suggest that a person will not experience chronic disease or disability. However, tips and tricks are available to reduce the risk of developing disease or disability and improve overall quality of life, even when faced with significant challenges or loss. 

What is aging well? 

A key component of aging well is to delay or prevent the onset of chronic disease and disability. This is achieved through a variety of activities and behaviors shown to improve physical and psychological health and wellness outcomes. 

The fundamentals of aging well

Aging well is the product of physical, emotional/mental, social, intellectual, vocational/occupational, spiritual, environmental, and financial wellness. If one of these wellness areas is neglected, then wellness in other areas is likely effected.

  • Physical wellness is enhanced by incorporating movement in our daily lived, eating nutritious foods, and getting the recommended amount of sleep. 
  • Emotional/mental wellness requires us to cope with the stress and challenges of daily life.
  • Social wellness is acquired through our sense of connection and belonging to a well-developed support system.
  • Intellectual wellness emerges from our creative activities and drive to expand knowledge and skills.
  • Vocational/occupational wellness results from the satisfaction and enrichment from work, whether volunteer or paid employment.
  • Spiritual wellness refers to how an individual finds meaning and purpose in life. 
  • Environment wellness is the result of occupying a pleasant home and community that provide sufficient stimulation and support.
  • Financial wellness occurs when an individual is satisfied with current and future financial situations.

It may seem overwhelming to know where to begin for your personal journey to aging well. SDSU Extension is here to help. We have a variety of educational content and programs to help you create your own aging well plan. 


Wellness wheel and assessment

All Aging Well Content

Older adult man getting assistance from a young, female caregiver.

Older Adults

Over the next 20 years, the number of adults over the age of 65 will increase dramatically.

An older couple standing in the kitchen looking at a tablet while cutting a lemon on a wood cutting board

Teaching Adults Technology

The TeachSD toolkit includes three videos, an implementation guide, and a technology trainer orientation guide. These materials are designed to help individuals and communities develop an intergenerational technology training program in their community.

Woman writing in a journal.
Jul 09

2022 Heirlooms: Creative Life Story Writing Workshops @ Spearfish

SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Humanities Council will host an in-person Heirlooms: Creative Life Writing Workshop on July 9, 2022 at the Spearfish Senior Center from 10:30 a.m. MT to 2:30 p.m.

A blank notebook sitting by eye glasses and photos.

Heirlooms: Creative Life Story Writing

Heirlooms: Creative Life Story Writing workshops offer free, professional writing guidance on a variety of topics, including life story writing, obituaries and family history.

A camera and black and white photos sitting on top of a map.

A Glimpse Into Life Story Writing

Learn some tips for identifying important milestones, events and themes when writing a life story to pass on to future generations.

A picture of a tombstone in a cemetery with an American flag laying on it.

A Glimpse Into Obituary Writing

Learn some basic considerations for writing an obituary that captures significant life milestones and events.

Hand holding Purple Heart, Bronze and National Defense War Medals.

A Glimpse Into Family History Writing

Learn some writing tips for researching family history and genealogy and organizing your findings into compelling stories.

Cover page of the USDA publication, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025

The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include dietary recommendations for all life stages, from birth to older adulthood, along with pregnant and lactating women.

Variety of vegetables and fruits.

Vitamins & Minerals for Older Adults

No matter your age, it is important to get the right amount of nutrients each day.

A young woman eating a green apple while watching the sun rise outside her window.

Boost Your Immunity With Simple Lifestyle Changes

Have you ever thought about how your daily routine or health habits affect your overall health? Have you been told that making time for those little things such as sleep, nutrition, exercise, and stress management, for example, can all affect more than one aspect of your life?