Today’s guest post is submitted by Alice Lucey, the Director of Be Independent Home Care, an Irish company that provides one-on-one assistance and support to elderly clients in their own homes to help them maintain their independence and individuality. Ms. Lucey’s company also created a charming and informative infographic for you to reference.

The mass media would easily have us believe that old age is something to be feared. We are constantly presented with stories and images about elderly people living in miserable isolation, or being unable to do many things that would have come easily to them in younger years. It’s as if a switch is flicked upon people’s 55th birthdays and they can say goodbye to any notions of happiness thereafter.

Then there’s the other side to senior life, the one that’s not so readily portrayed to the public at large – the one where elderly people are satisfied that they have achieved everything they wanted in life and are quite content to take a step back and appreciate life’s simpler pleasures. Studies show that the age at which people are happiest, believe it or not, is between 65 and 79; while our unhappiest years are most likely to be encountered between the ages of 45 and 55.

In addition to being more appreciative of what they have, elderly people generally don’t face the multiple strains of middle age such as raising a family, commuting to/from work and keeping a constant eye on finances to ensure that they can provide for their family. They also have a greater perspective on life and tend not to be bothered by trivial matters which can often provoke rage in younger generations.

This infographic from Be Independent Home Care focuses on how happiness can peak in our elder years and advises caregivers as to what they can do to encourage happiness in elderly people. Most of the time, something as simple as a phone call or a chat over some tea or coffee can make an elderly person’s day.

It’s really quite easy to keep our elders happy and content, so let’s dispense with the empty theory of old age automatically bringing despair and depression. That’s not to say depression in the elderly doesn’t exist, but it certainly isn’t unavoidable.

-Alice Lucey

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