Older adults learn to adapt and accept what cannot be changed in order to stay happy, suggests a new study.
According to the study by Jaclyn Broadbent, Shikkiah de Quadros-Wander and Jane McGillivray from Deakin University in Australia, when it comes to satisfaction in later life the ability to accept what cannot be changed is as important as the feeling of being able to exert control.
Ageing with satisfaction has been linked to maintaining a sense of control into the later years.
Perceived control consists of two components. Primary control relates to the capacity to make changes to the environment to suit your desire or needs - this applies to older adults living independently in the community.
Secondary control describes making cognitive changes within yourself to adapt to the environment - for example when older adults move into residential care.
In effect, secondary control buffers losses in primary control by helping us to accept what cannot be changed.
The study is published online in Springer's Journal of Happiness Studies.