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Aging Well

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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

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Older Adults

SDSU Extension provides education and resources for older adults and their families.

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How to Bring Heirlooms Writing Workshops to Your Community

Life stories are pieces of history that should be valued and preserved for future generations. If you are ready to preserve these pieces of history in your community, then it’s time to sponsor an Heirlooms: Creative Life Writing workshop.

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A Glimpse Into Family History Writing

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

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A Glimpse Into Obituary Writing

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

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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.

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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.

Woman writing in a journal.

SDSU Extension Hosts Free Life Story Writing Workshops via Zoom

December 07, 2022

South Dakota State University Extension will host a series of online creative writing workshops in 2023 on life story, obituary, and ancestor writing. The workshops will be taught by Molly Barari, professional writer and South Dakota Humanities Scholar.

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Oct 05

Heirlooms: Creative Life Writing Workshop - Ancestor Writing

SDSU Extension will host a 2023 Heirlooms: Creative Life Story Writing Workshop webinar about ancestor writing on October 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. MT (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CT).

Woman writing in a journal.
Apr 01

Heirlooms: Creative Life Writing Workshop - Obituary Writing

SDSU Extension will host a 2023 Heirlooms: Creative Life Story Writing Workshop webinar about obituary writing on April 1 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. MT (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CT).

An older man with his back to the camera looking over a pond.

Brain Health: The Impact of Chronic Stress

Stress affects everyone. Stress is your body’s response to a real or perceived harmful situation.