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While the natural aging process certainly includes limitations to mobility and function, it doesn't have to mean dissatisfaction with quality of life. Healthy outlooks and lifestyles can be maintained by persons of any age, regardless of condition. But it doesn't happen magically.

More than 60 years ago, the World Health Organization defined health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Social connectedness and participation in community can improve health status and prevent decline. KC Communities for All Ages believes in the power of community and the positive impact that defining one's own health and well-being can have on remaining "fit," however that term is defined.

Independence and control are as important to aging seniors as to maturing adolescents. Americans are living longer and relatively healthier lives, despite our increasing chronic conditions and despite being faced with challenges that require support that increases with time. Valuing the wisdom and experience of these seniors in community will benefit the entire community as they face the future together. The active participation of seniors in their own care represents an opportunity never seen before and will make for stronger neighborhoods, healthier families and a more responsive and compassionate healthcare system.

For health resources, visit our Online Resources and Regional Resources pages.