One of the most dramatic consequences of age-related deterioration is loss of independence, and it is more feared by seniors than almost any other outcome. For many, even an untimely death seems preferable to becoming beholden to others, according to surveys. "Aging in place," as it is now widely called, is particularly popular among seniors who cherish the lifestyle they have become accustomed to and wish to maintain for as long as possible.
Cultivating a gratuitous and appreciative attitude can be advantageous in almost any situation. People with a positive disposition tend to cope more efficiently and constructively with life's daily challenges. It's like they are getting a boost from a source deep within that gives them greater strength and resilience.
In other words, the way we think of ourselves as we grow older determines at least to some extent how well or how poorly we fare. If we perceive aging purely as a loss of vigor and vitality, nature will probably help us along on that path. If we see it as a chance to continue with life's journey, albeit perhaps in different ways, we may reap unexpected rewards.
Do creative and artistically inclined people have advantages over the rest of us mere mortals who can barely draw a stick figure or whistle a simple tune? There are indications that individuals who are able to use their talents also tend to fare better in other ways, including their physical and mental health, compared to others whose existence mainly consists of repetitiveness and routine. Still, scientists have never been able to prove that creativity is indeed a contributing factor to humans' well-being.
Many people with sleep troubles are tempted to take sleeping pills or supplements containing melatonin and the likes, and that may indeed be part of the solution. But there can also be a risk of addiction. Be advised that most of these remedies have side effects and should not be taken without consulting a physician.
Time flies, whether we have fun or not. Time also seems to pass more quickly as we age. Of course, the notion that time goes by with greater speed in our later years is nothing but an illusion. Some experts believe that our time perception is strongly influenced by two mental functions, namely attention and memory.
While regular physical activity has long been regarded as an important component of healthy aging, its impact on mental health has remained less explored -- until now. Several new studies on the role of exercise for the prevention of mental decline in older adults have been presented at this year's Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in Vancouver, Canada.