Mary Manz Simon, ALOA Board of Directors
Did You Have Any Idea You Were SAGY?
SAGY. Don’t be concerned if you don’t recognize that acronym. I made it up to highlight exciting news: Seniors are growing younger. SAGY is a perfect shortcut to describe this relevant fact of life.
SAGY describes what’s happening to us and our friends. Our functional ability today is better than those who were our age 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. Functional ability characterizes what you and I did this morning: climbed out of bed, made breakfast, dressed, reviewed the schedule, prayed, and whatever else we did to get a good start. Functional ability describes the activities that fill our day.
Functional ability tests measure and gather information that can be used to plan the support services needed as we age. And guess what? Recent data released from researchers in Finland paralleled previous reports. Among both men and women aged 75-80, muscle strength, walking speed, reaction speed, reasoning, and other characteristics continue to improve when compared with data collected from those who came before us.
When we FaceTime a grandchild, finish a jigsaw puzzle, or chose oatmeal instead of a donut, we don’t stop to think, “I contributed to my functional ability.” But as long as we continue to make those great choices, you and I will be SAGY!