They say, “age is just a number,” but as the years pass it can seem like this number controls your life. As the number of your age increases, it’s easy to let it dictate your feelings and quality of life.
However, some people feel far younger than their chronological age. In fact, 80% of people feel younger than their chronological age. According to the New York Times, those people are healthier mentally and physically than their counterparts who feel older. Simply feeling younger can lead to better outcomes.
Is age really a mindset?
Chronological vs Perceived Age
Your chronological age is the number of years you’ve lived, and this number is set in stone. But increasingly, we are realizing that there is a difference between chronological age and how old a person feels. The majority of people over 40 feel younger than their chronological age and the “discrepancy between felt and actual age increases with years.” Another research study found that over half of adults between 65 and 90 years old felt at least 20 years younger than their age!
Chronological age is really just a number. There is another important aspect to age that is often neglected, how old we feel.
Positive Outcomes Associated with Feeling Younger
Feeling younger is incredibly beneficial for older adults. According to the American Psychological Association, a lower perceived age is related to better health, longevity, and memory performance. Older people that feel younger display higher levels of capability, specifically in a grip strength test.
How to Feel Younger
Strangely enough, this idea of perceived age is absent in cultures that highly respect elders for their experience and wisdom. However, “internalized ageism can worsen no just people’s outlook, but their health.” In Western cultures that stereotype older adults as incompetent and unhealthy, feeling younger is important.
In society, being older is associated with losing abilities and ultimately control. The best way to feel younger is to have a greater sense of control. As a senior, this means taking control of your health by living an active lifestyle. For many caretakers and family members of older adults, you can facilitate control by offering more choices, and making sure the senior is involved in discussions about his or her care, treatments, etc.
The idea of feeling younger inside also makes it easier to understand why older adults sometimes resist medical directives or want to continue working after retirement. Age really can be a mindset, and not every older person will enjoy the same activities because they may feel a lot different from their chronological age suggests.
Having the right living environment is critical for a senior’s overall well-being, but certainly for their perceived age. Care Patrol will help you and your senior find the right living community, and make sure the senior feels a sense of control over their future and living situation along the way. At no cost to you, we will complete a detailed care assessment and find the best recommendations to meet your needs and preferences. Find your local CarePatrol senior advisor today by clicking the link HERE.