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Denise McNulty shares advice on aging gracefully

Inspiring stories and words of wisdom flowed on Feb. 6 as Denise McNulty, DNP, MSN, ARNP of Lee Health presented advice on Aging Gracefully at The Terraces at Bonita Springs.

A nurse and nurse teacher at Ave Maria University, Ms. McNulty shared her observations from a wide of experience, from working with college students to helping those in their 90s.

She expressed that feeling good at any age is so important especially in our later years of life, and we have to learn how to accept and embrace the fruits of aging.

To live life to the fullest, it’s important to love oneself and recognize that we are unique beings who deserve happiness, love, peace and joy. There is only one of you!

After a serious surgery, Ms. McNulty realized that good things can come from bad situations. She recommends:

  • Don’t take life too seriously.
  • Have some fun – be a little goofy, take a chance.
  • Appreciate people while they are with you.
  • Think about how you are going to spend your time.
  • Positive affirmations are a must!
  • Let go of your past mistakes – if there’s anyone in your life you can make amends with, be the better person and apologize.
  • Write down everything you are good at.
  • Project confidence.
  • To prevent loneliness, reconnect with someone you have not spoken to in a while. Be social!
  • Find a purpose.
  • Act your age but stay young at heart.
  • Develop friendships, relationships, companionships.
  • Give back to others.
  • Have sense of faith.
  • Be off color once in a while.
  • Find your passion.

The overall theme is to nurture your sense of self in order to accept and embrace the fruits of aging. With so much pressure for men and women to look good, lose weight, look young, and appear sexy, it’s no wonder we sometimes suffer from lack of self-esteem. Ms. McNulty administered a self-esteem quiz, and talked about ways to build confidence and to capitalize on our strengths.

Ms. McNulty even discussed the pros and cons of dating in Southwest Florida, and what it means to be content with yourself and with your life. She addressed online dating, and urged the audience to be careful out there.

Closing word of inspiration: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” (Helen Keller)

Thanks to Ms. McNulty and to Lee Health for an educational presentation that balanced serious issues with humor and inspiring stories.