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If We Live Longer, Will We Be Happier Or Grumpier? | Amoils.com

Added August 15, 2009, Under: Health, Men's Health, Women's Health

Elderly woman holding hands with young woman outside

As the baby boomers become senior citizens, it seems as if the boom is going to continue to an advanced age.

All the statistics point to older people living longer and longer.

If you are 55 now, you have a 50% chance of reaching 90.

Other interesting projections

  • USA seniors could increase by 40% in 5 years.
  • The world senior age group is expected to triple by 2050.
  • In the UK there could be 30 000 people over the age of 100 by the year 2030 and that means the Queen or King of England sending out all those congratulatory telegrams!
  • By 2034, 1 in 4 in the UK will be over 65 while the number of over 85 will have doubled.
  • By 2050 the world senior age group could have tripled.
  • The exception to these projections is Africa where only 5% of the population is likely to be 65 and older in 2050

Now all of these projections can cause Governments big headaches with challenges such as health care, financial well being, pension schemes, welfare services, hospitals and retirement homes.

At the moment, less than 8% of the world’s population is 65 or older

Those who are nearing the senior years may worry about finance, health and being left alone if they live to a great age.

The financial implications of the ageing UK population has been described as a ticking time bomb.

Conditions such as arthritis, shingles, insomnia, psoriasis and hemorrhoids and the discomfort they cause can all affect older people.

And if our partners and friends die before us, we may be left alone.

So you would imagine that if we live longer, we will become grumpier

We all know the stereotype “grumpy old men” and “grumpy old women”.  There have even been amusing TV shows interviewing celebrities who consider themselves to be just such grumpy old men or women.  However, and interestingly, studies on people aged up to their mid-90s suggest that most people get happier as they grow older.

  • In spite of worries about ill health, income, changes in social status and bereavements, later life tends to be a golden age, according psychologists.
  • It has been found that older adults generally make the best of the time they have left and have learned to avoid situations that make them feel sad or stressed.
  • Mental well being generally improves with age, except for people with dementia related ill health, according to Dr. Laura Carstensen, a psychology professor at Stanford University.  She asked volunteers ranging in age from 18 to mid 90s to take part in various experiments and keep diaries of their emotional state.  She found the older people were far less likely than the younger to experience persistent negative moods and were more resilient to hearing personal criticism.  They were also much better at controlling and balancing their emotions – a skill that appeared to improve the older they became.
  • Older people are increasingly aware that the time they have left in life is growing shorter. They want to make the best of it so they avoid engaging in situations that will make them unhappy.  They have had more time to learn and understand the intentions of others which helps them to avoid these stressful situations.
  • Many older people lead active, healthy lives enriched by experience and learning.

Well they do say that the 60s are the new 50s.  I am sure you can by the same token take 10 years off every decade thereafter – making the 90s to be the new 80s!

If you are feeling 10 years younger than your actual age, then you are bound to be happy and not grumpy.  We should all drink to that!

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