Actress Audrey Hepburn once said, “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” It turns out that her statement may be even wiser than it appears on the surface. According to a new British study, happiness might actually be one of the keys to living a longer life.
About the Happiness Study
The study used data collected from around 9,800 older adults who took the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing survey. The average age of the participants was 64. The researchers used the data collected from the survey to first determine the participants’ subjective sense of well-being. Well-being, according to a psychologist named Nancy Mramor who was not involved in the study, is “the perception of how well you are, not the actual fact of how well you are.”
The researchers followed the participants after the survey to see if their health matched what they reported about their well-being. The results of the study found:
- Men who were 50 and happy lived an average of 30 more years without disability and 21 years without a chronic illness. In comparison, men who reported being unhappy and depressed had only 20 years before disability and 11 before chronic disease.
- 50-year-old women who were happy experienced similar results with 31 years disability free and 22 years without chronic illness. Unhappy women averaged 21 years without disability and 12 without chronic illness.
- Happiness continued to increase lifespan even into the participants’ 80’s.
There are a couple theories as to why happiness affects lifespan. One is that being unhappy causes stress, which takes a physical toll on the body. Another is that when people are happy, they tend to take better care of themselves because they have something to live for.
How Elder Care Can Increase Happiness in Older Adults
If your aging relative could use a little more happiness in their life, elder care can help in a number of ways, such as:
- Taking them on outings to restaurants, museums, zoos, theaters, and more.
- Driving them to stores to shop.
- Offering conversation and companionship.
- Playing card or board games with the older adult.
- Driving the senior to their place of worship.
- Driving the senior to visit friends or family.
- Assisting with hobbies, like doing crafts.
In addition to the many fun things an elder care provider can do with an older adult, they can perform more practical tasks that can also improve well-being by improving their health and quality of life. Elder care providers can cook meals, clean the house, remind the older adult to take medications, and assist them with dressing and bathing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care Services in Cotati CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
She became a discharge planner and immediately fell in love with the concept of home care and the autonomous clinical practice it affords nurses. Dr. Lucy was hooked and has been a strong supporter of home care ever since.Believing people need advocates in healthcare systems, she has championed that cause across the acute care and post-acute care setting.
Dr. Lucy has worked in every aspect of home care from Medicare Certified, DME, Infusion, Hospice and finally Private Duty/Private Pay services. She also works as a home care consultant across the country and as a legal nurse consultant for the home care industry.
Having worked in all areas of home care, Dr. Lucy has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges facing patients, families and the home care industry, and as a provider she advocates for patients through the maze of health care services. Dr. Lucy celebrated over 37 years as a nurse and patient advocate.
Dr. Lucy has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from Lewis University, Romeoville, Illinois.In 1994, she received her Masters of Science in Health Service Administration from St. Mary's University, Moraga, California. Dr. Lucy received her Doctor of Nursing Practice awarded in 2016, graduating with Distinction and a 4.0 GPA.
She did her doctoral work on the global dementia crisis, aging and prevention strategies for healthy living. Developed dementia and Alzheimer's disease plans for aging patients leaving the hospital setting or entering long-term care or home health and hospice environments. She also developed a specialized program for those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 1992, Dr. Lucy was designated CAHSAH Certified Home Care Administrator in the inaugural offering of this designation through the California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She is the founder and CEO of Creative Solutions Home Care Consulting Services and At Your Service Nursing & Home Care, a concierge nursing & home care agency that provides the services she believes are essential for seniors to age in place.She offers a higher level of care allowing people to be in their own homes with an emphasis on independence, safety, and quality of life.
Dr. Lucy is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) and sits on the Board of Directors for California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH).
She has served on the boards for both state and national board associations, and is currently on the following boards and committees: Board of Directors, California State Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH), 2002-present, National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC's) Private Duty Home Care Association Director, and multiple state and national home care committees.
Dr. Lucy goes to Washington, DC, several times a year to advocate for senior services and home care issues. She was past Commissioner for the Sonoma Commission on Human Rights.She is past chair of the local Senior Advocacy Services.
Latest posts by Lucy Andrews DNP, RN, MS (see all)
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- Do Happy People Live Longer? - August 5, 2019