NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS might sound trite, especially as you age. But re-evaluate . once you check out them, resolutions are goals. And once you have goals, you’ve got purpose.
Studies within the past have hinted at the advantage of purpose for older adults. But a study published in 2019 actually shows that having purpose may extend your life.
Data from 7,000 Americans ages 51 and 61 explored the connection between mortality and purpose. Purpose was defined as “a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals.”
People without strong purpose were quite twice as likely to die during the study period, no matter income, gender, race or education. Purpose, it seems, is best at attaining longevity than reducing drinking, stopping smoking and conversely, even better than exercising regularly.
The Practicality of Organization
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Organize your medical records. Researchers have found that folks who keep a private health record enjoyed better health. Seeing your whole health picture and having records at the ready in an emergency are often life-saving. From paper to electronic, there’s no shortage to organizing systems. it is the getting started that matters. Caregivers can help their loved ones, and lots of health systems offer resources. Patient advocates and geriatric life professionals also can assist.
Declutter your home.
It’s estimated that hoarding impacts 2% to five of the population. Most folks aren’t hoarders, but we certainly do accumulate stuff. which can become a security hazard reception . There are tripping and falling hazards; the toxic effects of an unclean environment; the potential hazards of expired medications and food. Here again, there are numerous resources and apps which will help. it is easy to ascertain how hoarding can impact quality and length of life: an individual might not feel comfortable letting health aides or other professionals into their homes, for instance , and a cluttered environment might prevent someone from using walkers or wheelchairs.
Organize your finances.
It’s not uncommon to detect the primary signs of dementia during a beloved once they start having problems with their finances. That, in turn, makes someone vulnerable for fraud and abuse. As you step in as a caregiver to assist , it is vital to find out your own lessons. Scattered accounts can cause costly financial mistakes and fraud, so experts suggest whittling down accounts. Automate payments and use direct deposit for income sources. once you reduce vulnerability, you decrease stress.
[ SEE: Exercise Equipment for Seniors. ]
Document your wishes.
Having a complicated directive is vital . Appointing a trusted person to hold it out is equally important. That said, having these documents is simply the primary step. People’s interpretation of your wishes, i.e. medical professionals, can help save a life or prolong a life when there is no quality of life. As Catherine Falk, daughter of Peter Falk, relayed to me during our Caregiver Summit, the advanced directive might be stapled on someone’s head and still be ignored. Geoffrey Hosta noted the subsequent within the Washington Post: “Put the directive on a refrigerator and videotape an evidence of these wishes. Assign a ‘proxy’ (usually a spouse or child) who will aggressively enforce your wishes. Then share these decisions with family and doctors annually.”
From reducing stress and depression to helping you sleep better, organizing your life has health benefits.