It’s Healthy to Be Happy, Says New Study on Seniors

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 31 October 2012

Seniors with a positive attitude counteract loneliness and all its harmful effects: that’s the good word from a new study cited in this McKnight’s Long-Term Care News post.

Canadian researchers followed 122 seniors over a six-year period, says the report. According to Carsten Wrosch, one of the lead researchers and a university professor, “Our aim was to see whether using self-protective strategies, such as thinking positively and avoiding self-blame in the context of common age-related threats could prevent lonely older adults from exhibiting increases in stress hormones and inflammatory biomarkers.”

The study proved this to be true.

Loneliness, depression and isolation affect many seniors both in assisted living or at home. To ward off these common conditions, physical exercise, a healthy diet and sleep patterns, an active social life, and engagement in various activities are highly recommended by healthcare and other aging services professionals. It is also essential for seniors in assisted living to have regular contact with staff, volunteers, visiting family members and peers; loneliness and isolation is still possible despite living in a community setting.

Read our post, A Smile, A Hug and the Power of Positivity in Assisted Living, to learn more about the importance of appropriate physical touch and interactions with others for senior living residents.



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