Consistent with a rapidly aging population, research about what happens and what we can do about it continues to increase each year. In contrast to negative perceptions, recent findings have unearthed some very interesting facts about aging that may change the way we think about this process:
- We get happier as we age. Several recent studies by research bodies and universities have shown that humans tend to get happier as they age, and our happiest times of life are during our youth and then again through our 70s and 80s.
- Your brain keeps developing. Contrary to popular belief, your brain continues to make neurons as you get older, making it possible to keep learning new things. In fact, studies demonstrate that the brain simply changes the way it takes in information as we age, and learning new skills and even studying new subjects keep your brain young and active, helping it fight off degenerative conditions like dementia.
- Negative thoughts become more powerful. A study by the University of New South Wales found that being anxious about falling, even when physically sound and healthy, can make you more likely to experience a fall than someone who is physically more likely to fall, but unconcerned. As a serious issue for the elderly, falls are the single biggest reason for injury and hospitalization. So, a positive, anxiety-free mindset is important!
- Life expectancy is still increasing. From 1900 to 1960, life expectancy increased by just 2.4 years, however, since 1960 it has increased by 3.5 years and is likely to keep doing so. Many factors account for the change, including better nutrition, lifestyle choices and medical advances.
- Your votes count the most. Did you know that 70% of citizens 65 and older voted in the election, making them the largest voting demographic in the country?
- Stress decreases as we age. While many seniors report anxiety over medical conditions, work, money and family, these numbers are far lower than people aged 35-49, who are the most stressed, and people aged 25-34.
- Marriages get stronger. Studies have shown that marriage gets better as we age— a result of learning to properly express affection. Also, the more difficult years of middle age and stress over children, work and so forth, actually bring couples closer together as they age. This is great news because other studies have shown that happy marriages positively impact our health, quality of life and happiness as we age.
Put the happiness back into aging at our CCRC in Sussex County, NJ
Original content posted on https://umcommunities.org/blog/fascinating-facts-aging/