The conversations of life

About to hit a century – in years? Research says you’re an optimist

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People aged 100 years and over and living at home appear to be healthier and need less home care than many people 25 years younger, according to new research from the RDNS Institute.

Their study looked at centenarians, people over 95 (near-centenarians) and people aged 65 to 74. It found once people hit 100, their home care visits actually dropped to an average of 58 over two years, compared to 72 for near-centenarians.

Centenarians also had less health conditions than near-centenarians, and fewer mental health disorders (2 per cent) than both near-centenarians (4 per cent) and 65-74 year olds (6 per cent).

Hale and hearty?

So why is this so? RDNS Director Professor Colette Browning says while centenarians will live with a number of health conditions, they generally have lower levels of depression and higher life satisfaction.

“This has been linked to an optimistic outlook, better coping strategies and quality social networks,” she says. “The lower service use may be related to these psychological resources: they just cope better with age-related conditions.”

A good reason to always look on the bright side of life?

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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