Late 2021 a study was undertaken by National Geographic and the AARP to consider how older Americans are redefining their health, defying challenges and living with purpose by looking in detail at the full spectrum of aging issues — from health and finances to attitudes about happiness, home, optimism and even dying.
More than 2,500 people participated, representing the full range of America’s backgrounds, demographics and ethnicities. Another 25 adults 40 and older participated in in-depth interviews.
Overall, the message was refreshingly positive and reassuring. On the whole, life is good, especially for older Americans — in particular those over 60. The person you see in the mirror is far different from the type of person younger generations might think you are!
The New Aging Is Discussed In 6 Parts
- Part 1: Health Redefined
- Part 2: Money Perceptions
- Part 3: The Pursuit Of Happiness
- Part 4: Relationships
- Part 5: Life Stages
- Part 6: Our Final Years
In this post we’ll look at Health Redefined
The survey posed a tantalizing proposition – would you take a pill that immediately granted 10 bonus years of life?
“Age is just a number that’s assigned to me,” says study participant Jackie, age 56. “I’d like to live as long as I possibly can and enjoy it, but I don’t want to be old and not be able to function. I want to be healthy.”
‘Healthy with conditions’ is the new norm it seems
about 2 out of 3 people in their 50s and 8 out of 10 in their 80s are living with one or more serious or chronic health conditions and despite their arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other conditions, 78 to 83 percent rated their health good, very good or excellent. It seems people can reframe their situation and make the best of it
Ruth a lady in her 90’s said “Good health is being able to get up each day and do the things that you plan to do, and not dread them,”
Timothy, 51, has a similar view after a stay in hospital “You just wake up in the morning, you eat a handful of pills, and you go about your day. You don’t let it overwhelm your mind.”
Similarly, Robin, 64, takes her three dogs for a daily walk, then heads out again. “I go for another walk with my husband. Maybe we’ll go walking with friends. If the weather is not nice, I go on my treadmill and do exercises over the TV. I see exercise as one way to stay healthy.”
Despite her dementia Mum who just recently passed away at 92 years of age walked every day (her exercise), ate a healthy balanced diet and enjoyed a glass or wine or a whisky every day. It was only her rapidly and progressive cancer that got to her so the message seems to be that we can add life to our years with healthy eating, regular exercise, positive mental attitude and where appropriate top up with good supplementation
In our next article we’ll look at Money Perceptions
If you’re in a hurry you can read the full article here
This extract published with full credit to AARP
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