Being engaged in work is the secret of youthfulness in old age
To begin, I would like to talk about a friend of mine, Smt. Veena Gupta. She is between the age of 65-70; very calm, cool and energetic. I have never seen her in a depressive mood or with a tired face in all my conversations with her. In our every talk I found her very positive, lively and inspiring. In brief, I can say she is full of life I have met very few elder people who are like her. In fact in India older people take their age as a burden. That kind of negativity makes them age faster; psychologically and emotionally.
In a New York Times article, ‘Older People Become What They Think , a Study Shows’ addressed this concept in regards to how we age. Among its assertions? “When stereotypes are negative — when seniors are convinced becoming old means becoming useless, helpless or devalued — they are less likely to seek preventive medical care and die earlier, and more likely to suffer memory loss and poor physical functioning, a growing body of research shows.
Actually when older adults view age as a time of wisdom, self-realization and satisfaction — results point in the other direction, toward a higher level of functioning. The latest report, in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that seniors with this positive bias are 44 percent more likely to fully recover from a bout of disability. For people who care about and interact with older people, the message is clear: your attitude counts because it can activate or potentially modify these deeply held age stereotypes.”
Aging may seem unavoidable, but that’s not necessarily so when it comes to the brain. It is what you do in old age that matters most when it comes to maintaining a youthful brain, not what you did earlier in life, according to new research. “Although some memory functions do tend to decline as we get older, several elderly show well preserved functioning and this is related to a well-preserved, youth-like brain,” says Lars Nyberg of Umea University in Sweden.
In other words, there is now supportive scientific evidence indicating that maintaining a youthful brain, may be the key to successful memory even in old age. A common practice in dealing with age-related changes in the brain is to respond to and compensate for these changes. But scientists say it is best to avoid experiencing memory decline and other age-related brain changes altogether as we grow older. And we do that, they say, by staying actively engaged in day-to-day living.
Remember, engagement is the secret to youthfulness in old age. Those seniors who are socially, mentally and physically stimulated reliably show better cognitive performance with a brain that appears younger than its years. “There is quite a lot of solid evidence that indicates staying physically and mentally active is a way towards brain maintenance,” Nyberg says. In other words, socializing is the key to successful aging. Seniors who frequently socialize report better health.