Does Your Parent’s Elderly Care Encourage Them to be Happier?

Elderly Care in Toronto

What makes you happy? What do you feel is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life? If you asked your aging parent what was the thing in their life that made them the happiest, what do you Elderly-Care-in-Torontothink that it would be? The answer might surprise you.

According to a study that has been underway since 1938, the actual key to happiness and a fulfilling life is not wealth, success, or material possessions. It is actually relationships. This study, performed by Harvard and entitled the Harvard Study of Adult Development, followed two groups of men. In total the students numbered 724 men. One group was a set of students from Harvard while the other was a group of men who were living in the poorest neighborhoods of Boston. All these years later there are around 60 surviving participants. Every two years these men, who started the project by having health exams and answering questions, check back in with the program director, who is the fourth man to have this position. They answer questions about their daily lives, have blood work done, and undergo a physical. All of this work has made one thing very clear: those men with strong relationships in their lives tend to be the happiest.

This happiness is not just about feeling good. The study also shows that those men who are the happiest also tended to be the healthiest. There is considerable overlap in the results and for some there is not a clear cause and effect relationship. For example, those men in strong romantic relationships tended to not be smokers, which made them healthier. Whether it was the not smoking that helped to keep their relationship strong or the strong relationship that discouraged smoking, however, is unclear. What matters, however, is the distinct evidence that happiness tends to lie in enjoyable social connections and for those who maintain these, life tends to be healthier and more fulfilling.

 

Ensuring that your parent has an elderly care experience that is tailored to their happiness can help them to live a healthier, stronger life. Some ways that you can do this include:

  • Ensure a good fit for their care provider. The primary goal of an elderly health care services provider is to ensure that your parent is safe and healthy. Selecting a care provider who gets along well with your parent and acts as a companion adds a social element to the care that can be extremely beneficial. This relationship can become one of their strongest, helping them to feel more connected and pursue better health.
  • Encourage social interaction. An elderly care provider does not have to be the only source of social interaction for your parent. This care provider can provide your parent with reliable transportation to ensure that they can participate in more activities with others. This can be a club or organization, house of worship, or just getting together with old friends for a game of cards.
  • Quality matters. When it comes to social interaction, relationships, and happiness and their impact on health, it is the quality that matters. For example, relationships, whether romantic or just friendships, that are high in tension can be excessively stressful and actually diminish both happiness and health. It is important to focus on encouraging healthy, beneficial relationships rather than perpetuating unhealthy ones.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Toronto, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

 

Source:  http://blog.aarp.org/2016/03/25/whats-the-secret-to-a-happy-life-its-not-what-you-think/

About Susan Di Michele

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