With massive advances in wellness and medicine, the current population enjoys a much healthier and longer lifespan. While the population over 65 is growing considerably, their lifestyle has also advanced. Older people might live independently, work into old age, and take an active role in their community. It is believed that mental health problems are a “normal” aspect of ageing but most older people don’t develop mental health problems, and they can be helped if they do. While a significant number of people do develop dementia or depression in old age, they aren’t an inevitable part of getting old.
Throughout life we all experience loss and as we get older our losses increase in volume. Losses can include-loss of family members, friends, spouse, siblings, status, physical mobility, hair, hearing etc. Although it is not inevitable, it is not surprising that ageing and depression often go together. According to the American Psychological Association, there are also mental health conditions that are more prevalent in those of advanced age.
There are a range of different problems in relation to senior lifestyle and health these include:
“You’re only as old as you feel” the old saying goes. And maybe it’s worth paying attention to it. Research has found that regardless of your current age, your attitude towards ageing has a huge impact on your overall health. This has been shown in research from Trinity College Dublin- The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). It found that negative attitudes about ageing affect both physical and cognitive health in your later years. Most evident was that participants in the study who held positive attitudes towards ageing had improved cognitive ability as they aged.
The study, resulted in the following findings:
Written by Rebekka Johnston