Wellbeing can increase with age according to new survey
9th March 2016
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
A recent survey has found that a sense of wellbeing can increase as we move into our later years.
The survey, conducted by The Medical Research Council, took into consideration how cheerful, confident, relaxed and useful 1,700 participants felt at different stages in their lives. The results reveal how wellbeing improved as participants moved from their 60s into their 70s.
While the study looks at emotional responses as participants aged, it did not account for how declining health might affect this. While most survey respondents reported having at least one health complaint, no correlation could be made between this and overall wellbeing.
As we get older, our fitness can diminish either through chronic diseases, or simply as agility reduces, and this may well bring a loss of independence with it, which could impact our general wellbeing. Fortunately, medical treatment and specialist equipment like home stairlifts can help to keep us active and happy into later life.
The Medical Research Council committed £51 million towards conducting the Lifelong Health & Wellbeing Research for Healthy Aging, a study designed to “meet the challenges and opportunities of an aging population”.
Running from 2008 until March 2015, the recently released results identify how those aged between 65 and 79 tended to be the happiest while those aged 45 to 59 can experience the highest levels of dissatisfaction.
Programme leader Dr Mai Stafford explains: "We found that one in five experienced a substantial increase in wellbeing in later life, although we also found a smaller group who experienced a substantial decline.”
It is not yet known what has caused many of the older generation to experience greater happiness. Dr Stafford continues: "The benefit of using a cohort study like this is that we can look at how individuals change over time.
"We hope this will allow us to pinpoint which common experiences may be linked to an improvement in wellbeing in later life."
She has suggested that those in their 60s and 70s are more inclined to prioritise social relationships, which can go a great way towards overall mental health and could be one contributing factor.