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Seniors Looking Good, Feeling Young

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July 14, 2011

Growing older has never been better, according to recent research. People tend to feel about 13 years younger than they are. Why not put that youthful energy to good use by volunteering or signing up to as a Home Instead CAREGiverSM?

Q. I hate to brag, but I never thought I would look and feel so good at age 75. I have so much energy I don't know what to do with it. I almost feel as though I should go back to work. Any suggestions?

Check out this study and you'll wonder if seniors like yourself have discovered a fountain of youth. Senior citizens tend to feel about 13 years younger than their chronological age even though they think they look only seven years younger.

Researchers in the study from the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Science analyzed the responses of 516 men and women age 70 and older who participated in the Berlin Aging Study, tracking how their perceptions about age and their satisfaction with aging changed over a six-year period.

"People generally felt quite a bit younger than they actually were, and they also showed relatively high levels of satisfaction with aging over the time period studied," said Jacqui Smith, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR). Smith conducted the study with colleagues Anna Kleinspehn-Ammerlahn and Dana Kotter-Gruehn at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

"We examined individual changes over time, and expected the gap to increase. But we were surprised to find that it was maintained, on average. Perhaps feeling about 13 years younger is an optimal illusion in old age," Smith said.

So there you have it; looking good and feeling even better seems to be par for the course these days. Since you're feeling so great, why not put your skills to good use. One way is to become a CAREGiverSM for Home Instead Senior Care®. You don't need any qualifications, but it helps if you have cared for others before, such as a spouse or parent. The best news is that caregiving is an ideal career for seniors.

In fact, more than 60 percent of Home Instead CAREGivers are over the age of 50. Older adults seem to relate well to someone near their own age. As a CAREGiver, you'd be helping other seniors with activities that you are accustomed to doing for yourself such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and shopping. And you'd have the opportunity to make new friends as well. Why not check it out today?

For more about this study, log on to http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/plainstory.php?id=6867.

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