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In The News

Old and grumpy or truly happy?

Traditional TV shows and movies have long portrayed older characters difficult and poor tempered. But the reality is often very different. Today, a large body of research backs up the idea that people actually get happier and easier going as they age. Why? One of the perks of growing older seems to be that we have fewer personal responsibilities, and, ultimately, much fewer, or no work duties. Also, an older adult’s emotional wisdom is significantly enhanced with age according to Psychology professor, Laura Carstensen who is the Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. 

Good relationships are at the top of the list, according to the longest study of human life which examined what leads to happiness. Dr. Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development suggests that, “good relationships and friendships have mutuality, or a give and take. Also, being able to ask for help gracefully and happily is a well-being booster. But it’s all in how its offered, and received. Waldinger suggests a less threatening, “Let’s do this together “approach.

Source: Fortune

Is cuddling compromising your sleep?

Contact with your bedmate may be leading to your nightly sleep problems, suggests University of Michigan researchers studying disruptive co-sleeping in mice and men. Co-sleeping humans often transmit insomnia to bed partners as do mice. The study’s leaders were compelled to ask, why both willingly choose shared sleeping situations that had the potential to regularly compromise their sleep?

Interestingly, they discovered that both co-sleeping mice and humans showed synchronization in multiple neurophysiological measures, including the timing of sleep/wake onset and REM sleep. Results also showed that the tested mice were willing to forgo their preferred sleep location in order to gain access to social contact they desired. This led to a suggestion that the motivation for prolonged physical contact is what drives their and potentially our cuddling behaviour.

Notably, the timing of rapid eye movement, or REM, sleep was synchronized among co-sleeping male mice siblings but not among co-sleeping female siblings or unfamiliar mice. This suggests that an individual’s internal state, such as feeling safe could be what is controlling the degree of synchronization.

Source: Medical Xpress

Keeping your loved ones independent

It’s all about prevention! Staying active, disease free and learning to adopt new healthy behaviours are some of the keys to living your best life for as long as you can. Here are some suggestions that may help:

1) Supporting healthy eating and dietary habits goes a long way to maintaining good health and independence. Fresh fruit and vegetables make a difference! Check the Canada Food Guide for details.

2) Exercising regularly, taking walks and being physically active helps improve cognitive functioning, which often deteriorates as we age. 

3) Visit your family doctor or a geriatrician for regular health check-ups, blood tests and colonoscopies/ breast exams as recommended and be sure vaccinations are up to date.

4) Connecting socially has been shown to be of the utmost importance when it comes to maintaining health and wellbeing. Loneliness and isolation has been shown to be detrimental to both physical and mental health.

5) Fall proof by removing scatter rugs, clutter and other potential hazards. Many accidents occur in the bathroom. Install safety rails and non-slips mats. 

Source: Complete Canadian Eldercare Guide

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