In a word, Yes!
You’re probably aware that people are living longer, but they’re also enjoying healthier – and happier – lives in later years.
The ingredients to prolonged health and happiness include these:
- Learn to play. The ability to play can bring about happiness later in life.
- Love and intimacy are as essential as food and water. Financial health alone doesn’t bring contentment unless the person also has supportive, loving relationships. Forging strong emotional ties with friends and family protects us from isolation and depression.
- Healthy lifestyle choices are more important than heredity. Choosing healthy habits has been shown to be better a gauge of a robust old age than family history. Such choices often include: exercising, keeping weight down and not smoking.
- Gratitude counts. Happiness can come from being grateful for all the wonderful things in life. Encourage your senior to start a “gratitude journal” and keep track of what they have to be grateful for – big or small things, such as just enjoying the warmth of sunlight on their face.
- Reach out. People who are more conscientious about cultivating relationships live longer, fuller lives. Those who have lived their lives finding social opportunities frequently means that the next time they need help, someone may be there to lend a hand to them – and to you.
- Hang out with the right crowd. If you want to live a healthier, longer and happier life, the friends you choose are a big part of it. Suggest that your senior family member joins groups of people who are doing the kinds of things they like to do – people who are enjoying life in a positive and joyful manner.
- Laugh. Help your senior schedule time with friends and family who make them laugh or read a book, watch a movie that will bring a smile.