According to the 2015 Census Bureau figures, there were 53,364 senior citizens living in the United States who were aged 100 or older. Researchers spent decades trying to uncover the secrets to long life. Some of the oldest people on the planet live in what is known as the Blue Zone. These locations include Costa Rica, the Greek island of Ikaria, the Japanese island of Okinawa, the Italian island of Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California. Scientists were also amazed to discover many of these centenarians continued bike riding, socializing, working, and having intimate relationships. In all the years of study, researchers found some common denominators, and Santa Rosa, CA, home care professionals discuss a few of these findings.
1. Stay Socially Active
Researchers from Brigham Young University evaluated nearly 150 studies concerning social relationships. The group learned that seniors having strong family and friend connections were less prone to premature death compared to adults who had no social links.
2. Eat Healthily
The healthiest centenarians prefer diets consisting largely of fruits and vegetables. Their diets also consisted of more fish and poultry than red meat. A study performed by the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute found proteins obtained from animal sources trigger two sets of genes that hasten the aging process. Eating healthier also makes maintaining an ideal weight easier.
3. Maintain a Sense a Purpose
Blue Zone residents have careers, hobbies, or passions that give their life meaning. For many seniors, it may be volunteering their time to others. Having a purpose gives seniors a reason to wake up and get out of bed in the morning, and having a reason to live seems to buffer older adults from mortality.
4. Engage in Regular Physical Activity
Physical strength also plays a role in lifelong endurance. Many older adults enjoy a wide range of physical activity. Some enjoy daily workouts, others walk, and many participate or compete in sporting events.
5. Exercise the Brain
Many seniors taking part in the Blue Zone study demonstrated good cognitive health. Participating in activities, playing games, or completing puzzles that require memory, reasoning and other mental processes proved beneficial. Cognitive clarity can also be contributed to diet, exercise, and abstinence from smoking.
Another way to help increase your elderly loved one’s longevity is by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. We offer a program called the Balanced Care Method (BCM), which was designed to encourage seniors to eat well, exercise often, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyles factors that increase life expectancy. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s care Santa Rosa families can rely on. For more information on BCM or our other senior care services, please call (707) 843.4368 today.