Secrets To Reaching Age 100

Your chances of reaching age 100 could be better than you think – especially if you get some additional sleep and improve your diet.

New research from UnitedHealthcare looks at centenarians and baby boomers, asking the former about the “secrets of aging success” and evaluating whether the latter are taking the necessary steps to celebrate a 100th birthday.

How to reach 100? Centenarians point to social connections, exercise and spiritual activity as some of the keys to successful aging. Among surveyed centenarians, almost nine in 10 – fully 89% – say they communicate with a family member or friend every day; about two thirds (67%) pray, meditate or engage in some form of spiritual activity; and just over half (51%) say they exercise almost daily.

In each of these areas, baby boomers, as it turns out, match up fairly well. The same percentage of boomers as centenarians – 89% – say they’re in touch with friends or family members on a regular basis. Sixty percent of surveyed baby-boomers say spiritual activity is an important part of their lives, and almost six in 10 boomers (59%) exercise regularly. Again, sleep and diet are the two areas where baby boomers come up short. Not surprisingly, the one area where boomers are more active is the workplace. Three-quarters (76%) of surveyed baby boomers say they work at a job or hobby almost every day; that compares with 16% of centenarians.

Finally, researchers turned to cultural affairs and asked centenarians and boomers to identify – from a list of 14 notable people (including President Obama, singer Paul McCartney and actors Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts) – their preferred dinner guest. The top choice among centenarians and boomers alike: the comedian Betty White.

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Source: Yahoo News

Image: 702 ABC Sydney

Impact of Baby Boomers’ Retirement on Caregivers

Across the United States, adult children become caregivers for aging and chronically ill loved ones. With the first of the baby boomers turning 65 in 2011, the number of Americans entering retirement age is expected to nearly double by 2030, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging.

As the country braces for the prospect of providing health care to roughly 72 million adults, the impact on caregivers is coming into focus. A study released last week found that Americans caring for aging and chronically ill relatives reported higher levels of stress, poorer health and a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors to escape and alleviate stress than the population at large.

Moreover, 55% of caregivers reported feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” survey, which was conducted online among 1,226 adults in the United States in August and September.

While emphasizing results among caregivers, the survey also found that 22% of Americans reported “extreme stress” and 39% said their stress had increased over the past year. That number becomes higher among caregivers, who were also more likely than the general population to report doing a poor job at managing and preventing stress, according to the survey’s findings.

The report emphasizes the public health implications of high stress levels, with caregivers reporting greater rates of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor  nutrition, obesity and depression. Regardless of the cause, stress often results from taking on too much and not knowing when to stop or ask for help.


Source: CNN

Image: Lifelines Academy & Network