How to Help Seniors Experience More Joy

How to Help Seniors Experience More Joy

After nearly 80 years and numerous research studies, it has indicated that wealth and genetics have minimal impact on our overall happiness. The Harvard Study of Adult Development, initiated in 1938, examined the lives of prominent individuals like John F. Kennedy and Ben Bradlee. Over the course of studies expanded to include both urban residents and descendants of the original Harvard participants, revealing unexpected findings.

According to a research study conducted by Robert Waldinger, close relationships are the most effective for a long and happy life. Genetics, IQ, fame, finances and their social class were found to be less influential.  Waldinger, who is a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, encourages those who have been the happiest if their relationships at the age of 50 were the healthiest at the age of 80. He also warns that loneliness can be as detrimental to their health as smoking or alcoholism.

In George Vaillant book “Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development”  who led the research from 1972 -2004, shared the factors that predict healthy aging

  • The absence of smoking and alcohol abuse
  • Physical activities
  • Mature strategies to deal with challenges in life
  • Sustaining a healthy weight
  • Having a stable marriage

Self-care  is essential for our overall well-being, both mentally and physically. It is not just about focusing on our individual needs, but it is also about investing time and effort into nurturing our relationships. Research shows that the quality of our relationships actually has a greater impact on our long-term physical health than factors like cholesterol levels. So, when it comes to our self-care, do not forget to prioritize building and maintaining strong connections with others. It is important to find joy in life to help ensure a healthy future.

A research study has challenged the notion that our personalities are fixed by the time we are 30. It has revealed that some individuals who have faced difficulties in their early adult years have found fulfillment later in life. Where others who have excelled early on have encountered challenges in later years due to mental health issues and alcoholism.

The current study is looking into its third and fourth generation, as they believe there is still more to learn, including how to better regulate their stress and whether a hard childhood can impact middle age and later years.

If you are looking to improve the quality of life for seniors, look no further than Amy’s Helping Hands. Our award winning elder care in Windsor and Essex County are dedicated to instilling joy in seniors' lives. We can be contacted at 519-915-4370 or visit our website at amyshelpinghands.ca. .