Although aging can be stressful, many people consider themselves happier and more sentimental later in life after they retire and have fewer responsibilities. Whether it's moving out of a cumbersome house or witnessing children or grandchildren transition into the "real world," seniors are generally more relaxed than their younger counterparts.
In addition, research validates the idea that wisdom increases with age. One study suggests that older people possess a greater theory of mind, or the ability to gauge the intentions of others, than younger people despite proficiency at physical tasks worsening [source: Happé et al.]. Another analysis places wisdom high on the list of factors that enrich an aging person's relationships and outlook on life [source: Ardelt].
While life's hardships and lessons seem hard to accept, the ability to learn from and endure them help shape one's attitude later in life -- a surprising fact to those who expect their older years will be worse than their younger ones.
Check out the next page for more resources on age-related issues.
- American Academy of Family Physicians. "Sleep Changes in Older Adults." March 2010. (May 4, 2011).http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/seniors/common-older/386.html
- American Psychological Association. "Older Adults' Health and Age-Related Changes: Psychological Problems of Older Americans." 2011. (May 4, 2011).http://www.apa.org/pi/aging/resources/guides/older.aspx
- Ardelt, Monika. "Antecedents and Effects of Wisdom in Old Age: A Longitudinal Perspective on Aging Well." Research on Aging. 22, 4. 360-394. July 2000. (May 4, 2011).http://roa.sagepub.com/content/22/4/360.short
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview." Dec. 8, 2010. (May 4, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html
- Happé, Francesca, Winner, Ellen, & Brownell, Hiram. "The Getting of Wisdom: Theory of Mind in Old Age." Developmental Psychology. 34, 2. 358-362. 1998. (May 4, 2011).http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/dev/34/2/358/
- Kahn, Jeffery. "Unlocking the Secrets of Cell Senescence." Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 1995. (May 19, 2011).http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Research-Review/Highlights/1994/senescence.html
- Kids Health. "What are Dentures?" October 2010. (May 4, 2011).http://kidshealth.org/kid/grownup/getting_older/dentures.html
- Mayo Clinic Staff. "Urinary Incontinence." Mayo Clinic. June 27, 2009. (May 4, 2011).http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urinary-incontinence/DS00404/DSECTION=causes
- Medline Plus. "Aging Changes in Hormone Production." May 2, 2011. (May 4, 2011).http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004000.htm
- MedlinePlus. "Aging Changes in the Male Reproductive System." May 2, 2011. (May 19, 2011).http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004017.htm
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Menopause." Sept. 11, 2010. (May 4, 2011).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001896/
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. "Osteoporosis." Nov. 8, 2010. (May 4, 2011).http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001400/
- Vargas, Clemencia, Kramarow, Ellen, & Yellowitz, Janet. "The Oral Health of Older Americans." National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 2001. (May 4, 2011).http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/agingtrends/03oral.pdf
- WebMD. "Sex and Aging." (May 4, 2011).http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/guide/sex-aging
Think you're going to die young? You might want to rethink that. According to new research, your preferred life expectancy influences when you die.