Friday, April 23, 2010

What makes for a happy (very) old age?

Most developed countries have an aging population but what makes for a happy old age? People in Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, are known to live to a ripe old age and researchers from Iowa State University have been studying 158 centenarians there to see what makes them happy, or not. They found that past satisfaction with life was the key to happiness in old age. In a linked study of 78 octogenarians the researchers found that a diminished ability to solve everyday problems was a significant predictor of depression symptoms in the octogenarians although it was a loss of abilities rather than overall cognitive functioning that led to depression. For the centenarians living in a nursing home and having neurotic tendencies increased depression. Both groups worried about the direction the country was heading in and what kind of world they would leave for their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

1 comment:

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