How you feel about aging affects your health

Created date

February 12th, 2016
senior man
senior man

Everyone feels different about aging, but now research shows that if you have a negative outlook, it can affect your sensory and cognitive functions.

Researchers at the University of Toronto gave standard hearing tests to 301 adults between the ages of 56 and 96. Then, participants were asked to complete a set of recall tasks in order to test their memory. They also answered questions related to their perceptions about their hearing and memory abilities such as “I am good at having telephone conversations” and “I can easily remember names.”

Finally, researchers asked participants a series of questions pertaining to their views on aging. They were asked about how much they worried about scenarios such as losing their independence, becoming forgetful, and being alone.

The researchers found that the people who had negative views about getting older performed poorly on the hearing and memory tests. The lead author of the study, Alison Chasteen, Ph.D., says the results do not mean the converse is true—older adults who have poor hearing or reduced cognition do not necessarily have negative views about aging.

Chasteen says that the study’s results highlight the importance of educating older adults about ways they can change their aging experience, such as helping them dispel stereotypes. In addition, health care providers could offer training exercises to enhance cognitive and physical performance.