Medindia
Advertisement

Physical and Mental Health of Seniors Linked to Optimism, Wisdom and Loneliness: Study

by Colleen Fleiss on May 10, 2019 at 1:30 AM

Physical and Mental Health of Seniors Linked to Optimism, Wisdom and Loneliness: Study
A new study has analyzed how distinctive factors, such as wisdom, loneliness, income and sleep quality, impact -- for good and bad -- the physical and mental functioning of older persons. The study was conducted by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers.

Writing in the May issue of American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, a research team headed by Dilip Jeste, MD, principal investigator of the study, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, found that physical health correlated with both cognitive function and mental health.
Advertisement


Specifically, cognitive function was significantly associated with physical mobility, wisdom and satisfaction with life. Physical health was associated with mental well-being, resilience and younger age. Mental health was linked to optimism, self-compassion, income and lower levels of loneliness and sleep disturbances.

"Continuing care senior housing communities are important sites for studying and promoting health in older adults," said Jeste. "Most people focus on diseases and risk factors, like old age, unhealthy diet and lack of activity. These are important, of course, but we also need to focus on areas that make up the whole person.
Advertisement

"Psychological traits like optimism, resilience, wisdom and self-compassion were found to be protective, while loneliness seemed to be a risk factor. An 85-year-old can be functioning better than a 65-year-old due to protective and risk factors."

In modern society, said co-author Danielle Glorioso, LCSW, executive director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, aging persons do not necessarily receive the support of younger family members who can serve as caregivers.

"Younger family members have jobs and children to take care of," said Glorioso, "so older adults often have to choose between staying at home and feeling lonely versus moving to a more supportive and socially engaging senior housing system. This becomes an important but complex decision impacted by a large number of factors, including financial cost of the senior housing."

A popular model of supported senior housing provides a continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living to full-time care for significant physical and cognitive impairment. For the majority of continuing care senior housing facilities, costs increase as residents transition to greater levels of assisted-living. "Delaying these transitions through facilitating longer independent living should be an important health care goal," said Jeste. "Our findings shed light on areas that need to be a focus for seniors to live full, enriched lives."

One-hundred and twelve residents participated in the study, with a mean age of 84. Sixty-eight percent were female; 69 percent possessed a college education; 41 percent were married; and 72 percent reported total annual incomes exceeding $50,000.

Jeste said more longitudinal studies involving diverse samples of older adults are necessary to determine if psychosocial and other variables are potential risks or protective factors related to cognitive, physical and mental health and diseases.

"The eventual goal would be to develop new health-focused interventions based on such research. Senior centers in the community should incorporate activities that address physical, social and mental aspects. We can all do something to improve and strengthen the quality of life of our aging population."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
'Hybrid Immunity' may Help Elude COVID-19 Pandemic
Stroop Effect
Plant-Based Diet may Reduce the Risk of COVID-19
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Adolescence Depression Anxiety Disorder Reiki-A Holistic Healing Method Flowers And What They Mean To Us Health Insurance - India Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Mental Health - Neurosis vs Psychosis Understanding the Role of Love in Mental Health Effect of Romantic Movies on a Child's Mental Health 

Recommended Reading
Sleep Disorder
Sleep disorders can either be having difficulty in getting sleep or dozing off at inappropriate ......
Ways to Deal with Loneliness
All of us feel lonely at some point in our lives. It is important to know how to deal with ......
Senior Citizens Get Tech Savvy
By getting tech-savvy, senior citizens are fostering new engagements, bringing in positive change .....
Quiz on Ageing
There are several myths associated with ageing and one such myth doing the rounds is that pain is a ...
Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder involves excessive worry about actual circumstances, events or conflicts. Anyone ca...
Effect of Romantic Movies on a Child's Mental Health
Romantic movies can affect a child''s mental health both positively and negatively and therefore, cr...
Flowers And What They Mean To Us
Flowers can be used as infusion for treating digestive disorders or they can be used as poultice for...
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
Mental Health - Neurosis vs Psychosis
Mental well-being is a concern and abnormal coping of emotions can lead to neurosis or psychosis. Me...
Understanding the Role of Love in Mental Health
Love plays a crucial role in our mental health. Love that comes from a friend, a partner, a sibling,...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use