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Expert Insights

Analysis of trends in senior care, advice for people coping with an aging patent, and health advice for seniors.

Happiness changes with age

For many people, the pursuit of happiness is the driving force behind the choices they make. The issue is figuring out what makes you happy so that you can devote your time to it. Interestingly, the things that make us happy significantly change the older we get.

According to a recent study set to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research, we thrive off of extraordinary experiences in our youth – in other words, uncommon, infrequent, and potentially adrenaline-pumping events. For some, this might mean skydiving; for others, it could mean meeting new, interesting individuals.

While most people still value the extraordinary well into old age, their perspective of the ordinary – common, day-to-day occurrences – changes. As we age, we are more likely to derive joy from events a younger person might view as mundane. For example, sharing a meal with your loved ones or walking your dog.

Traversing the globe with armchair travel

Armchair travel allows seniors to experience cultures across the worldWe cannot underestimate the importance of lifelong learning. It helps aging adults stay mentally sharp and socially engaged. This, in turn, can help delay symptoms for adults at risk for memory impairment. Mental and social engagement also contribute to a stronger sense of purpose and happiness, which many researchers have found reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke and helps seniors maintain independence longer.

The upside of downsizing

Downsizing your homeDownsizing from a longtime home can be one of the most difficult decisions a senior can make. Yet, it’s also one of the most important. Remaining in a large house becomes financially impractical for many during retirement years. Plus, it can be socially isolating while the upkeep can be overwhelming. And for aging adults who find themselves increasingly struggling with chores, driving, and the like, downsizing to an assisted living community is one of the best and safest moves they can make. 

Misconceptions of the aging brain

Aging brains slow down due to greater experienceA common assumption is that as we age, our brains tend to process information more slowly. While this often proves to be true, the cause tends to be misunderstood. Many people falsely attribute the brain’s slowness to functional decline. According to a new study, however, that’s not always the case. Older brains work more slowly simply because they store a considerable amount of knowledge.  

By the time you reach 70, 80, perhaps 90 years old, you have accumulated a lifetime of experiences. That information doesn’t just shed away with old cells – your brain stores it. This means older brains have a larger “database,” if you will, to search through than younger brains. And the larger the database, the longer the search will be.

Assisted living offers comprehensive care

Diane WeinsteinBy Diane Weinstein, Executive Director at EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne

Recently I’ve seen a lot of articles comparing the cost of assisted living with the cost of home health care. If you’ve read any of these pieces, you’ve noticed that at a glance, a home health aide is less expensive. However, these numbers alone don’t convey the whole picture.

First let me say that we’re lucky to live in a society where people have choices. If you are able to live safely at home, that’s great. But the reality is that not everyone is able to “age in place,” even with the help of a home health aide.

We can’t fairly compare the cost of assisted living with the cost of home health care, because these are not interchangeable services. If you’re a senior who needs access to round the clock care, you will be safer at an assisted living facility.

 
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