The concept of successful aging can vary considerably from person to person. While some may place an emphasis on staying physically active, others are more concerned with maintaining a high level of mental acuity. Regardless of what older adults value, experts say that their attitude toward aging is what plays the biggest role in determining their quality of life.
Dr. Dilip Jeste of the American Psychiatric Association believes there are three factors that go into fostering an environment that encourages successful aging. Seniors should be resilient, optimistic and take steps to avoid depression. While certainly easier said than done, there are several steps older adults can take to help them on their way.
"Behavior and environment impact the expression of genes responsible for functioning. Thus we do have some control over whether we adopt an optimistic versus negative view of aging," Jeste told AgingCare.com.
One of the best ways for seniors to include all three steps is to not go it alone. Along with family members, there are many helpful services older adults can take advantage of including home care providers. In addition to providing health-related assistance, such as medication management and meal preparation, home care providers can offer companionship, which is a cornerstone of healthy aging.