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How Understanding Ageism Promotes Longevity

In 1968, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and geriatric specialist Dr. Robert N. Butler created the word ageism, which has become known as discrimination against older people. Recently, however, Umea University professor Fredrik Snellman explained that he is striving to change the concept of the term to reflect a more positive and general experience of aging. His article was published in the Journal Nordic Psychology and can provide insight for seniors and their hourly caregivers in Dallas.

In his writings, Snellman explains that instead of discrimination and the other negative ideas associated with the term, “ageism” should be redefined to better reflect the biological, chronological, psychological and social aspects of the aging process for adults of all ages. 

He bases his concept on a study that indicates negative ageism has a definite link with increased mortality. The study Snellman referred to suggested that when people aged 50 and younger feel negatively about getting older, these individuals live an average of 7.5 years less compared to people who embrace the aging process. To Snellman, these findings indicate the need to increase awareness and improve attitudes toward the natural life process. 

Whether Snellman’s concept catches on and he is able to change the way people think about getting older, Dr. Gregory A. Hinrichsen, a geriatric physician from Mount Sinai recommends a number of ways to change people’s opinions. Mature adults should speak up in their own defense and actively participate in life. Stay mentally and physically active by keeping up with current events and having future goals. Demonstrate to friends, family members, and Dallas home care providers that they are capable of keeping up with the times by using modern technological devices and social media. 

Mature adults should also make an effort to remain positive and consider that with age comes experience and wisdom. Many also mistakenly equate aging with increased helplessness. Adults do not lose abilities as long as they continue being independent. Consider attending a college class or perhaps a physical fitness class at a local health center. Including younger people in your social circle provide incentive to be a vital energetic person. 

Seniors can also remain vital and active with help from Home Care Assistance of Dallas. We provide comprehensive dementia, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care in Dallas that promotes senior independence and wellbeing. Our professional caregivers work with seniors to build a balanced lifestyle comprised of healthy diet, regular exercise, and socialization. Give your senior loved one the opportunity to age in place with confidence. Call us today at (214) 253-8784 to learn more and schedule a no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.