How Staying At Home Increases Longevity In The Elderly
The world is aging. We know this. Whether it is a farmer in Colorado or a lawyer in Uganda; each person expects to live longer than their regional counterparts from any other time in history. Often, however, the reasons why we live longer are tamped down by generalities. We know that advanced medical care along with greater outreach and knowledge has led the world into modernity as we define it. However, one crucial fact remains: the home fosters healthier habits leading to increased longevity.
Much has been made over the legitimacy of “Blue Zones” in recent years from CNN specials, to a well-received Ted Talk by the man who coined the term and wrote a book on the topic, Dan Buettner. According to the Collins dictionary, Blue Zones are regions in the world where it is relatively common for people to live active lives past the age of 100. The common thread connecting these remote pockets of the world are their habits and how they live from start to finish at home.
People in Blue Zones eat relatively similar diets and live lives filled with purpose. They maintain a role within the community into their senior years. Often, this includes caring for kids, farming, or participation in religious activities. Throughout these communities, the elderly are taken care of, and others ensure that they stay at home with loved ones.
What You Should Do
Most people are pondering how their community is the furthest thing from the tiny utopias known as Blue Zones. Home, however, is more than the house in which one lives; instead, it is the community a person has around them. For most (80% in fact), living and dying in their physical home is a must. However, people consistently fail to handle the other crucial parts of what makes a house a home.
The house must function as an anchor for the activities older adults do. Whether it is a widow/er or a couple, seniors must have people around them. Friends, acquaintances, and family offer people an outlet with which they can focus time and effort. A sense of purpose is produced in the elderly when people are relying on the actions, words, or thoughts of the seniors in their life.
Additionally, the habits one has makes or breaks their cycle of longevity. Eating, drinking, and exercising all play crucial roles in people’s ability to maintain their preferred lifestyle. Fitting the home to inspire a return to a lifestyle from days past, or as a source of inspiration gives seniors new ways to utilize their home.
For more information on customizing your home to fit your needs, check out our other article “Adapting Your Home For Aging in Place.”
With individualized needs, one must adapt to maintain longevity in their life. This does not signify the need to uproot one’s life, but the need to change habits and actions to live the life they desire. There are many ways a person can approach this alteration within life. One place to start looking is at the habits and actions found in Blue Zones around the world.