Many young and middle aged adults claim to fear old age. Some fear it because they are scared of losing their beauty. Others fear it because they are scared of losing their health and having to rely on someone else for completing small day to day tasks. Others yet fear losing their wits and not being able to remember all that they should.
And then there are those who fear that once they reach a certain age they will start to close themselves off from the world around them and automatically reject technological innovations or new entertainment entries simply because their new and the elderly population usually isn’t open to that.
Indeed, many things can go wrong while growing old, but a new study suggests that we worry too much and that seniors in all 50 states are actually much better off than the rest of us.
A team of researchers looked at data provided by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and ended up examining roughly 173.000 different interviews given by people across the country. Out of all of them, 91.000 were at least 55 if not older. The questioned referred to physical health as well as day to day experiences.
What they found was that United States adults who had passed the age of 55 had a much higher well-being than the younger generations, and those who had passed the age of 75 turned out to have the highest well-being of all elderly adults.
The well-being factor takes into consideration five (5) elements: a sense of purpose in life, financial situation, an active social life, being part of a community and physical health.
Joseph F. Coughlin, founder and director of MIT’s AgeLab, gave a statement saying that the greatest success that humankind has is longer life. One of the main challenges faced today by society as a whole as well by individual family units is what to do to live longer, better and with the highest well-being possible.
He went on to explain that understanding the country’s aging population, which includes Baby Boomers, currently the largest generation in American history, is going to be critical in order to design policies and interventions meant to help the country’s elderly population thrive in all of the aspects of their lives.
Statistically speaking, 52 percent (52%) of senior adults are thriving from a financial point of view. For comparison’s sake, only 32 percent (32%) of adults younger than 55 are having the same experience.
On top of this, depression rates and smoking rates decrease among senior adults, and that health insurance coverage as well as access to personal doctors increase.
On the family and friends front, 81 percent (81%) of senior adults older than 75 answered that they receive positive energy from their loved ones, while only 76 percent (76%) of adults younger than 55 could say the same.
Joy Powell, Healthways’ Market President, gave a statement of his own in a press release, saying that medical experts have come up with proven and effective interventions which mix social and physical activities in order to keep individuals active, happy and productive throughout old age.
He went on to add that the study proves how senior adults that are thriving in this faze in life are experiencing lower rates of depression, lower rates of obesity and lower rates of chronic illness.
Fan Witters, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index’s research director, also gave a statement, informing that there’s a very interesting phenomenon that happens in regard to the well-being index. When people enter their late 40s and early 50s there is an undeniable decline in well-being, however a significant increase starts to take place after that faze.
Nationwide, well-being ranked best for senior adults in state of Hawaii, followed by Montana on second place and South Dakota on third place. The state were it ranked the worse was West Virginia.
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