Tuesday, August 17, 2010

aging gracefully

"Except for the dying part, getting older is so fabulous, I love it....everybody I know is better older. They are more relaxed, they're more mellow, they're more alert as friends, they have a confidence....You really do acquire a kind of 'I don't give a damn' about what people think, which is so liberating. I love this age now."

Candice Bergen

The quote above and the quote below come from a newsletter I received from Dr. Zur. I love the part about how our brains continue developing into our 50s and 60s. Hope. I am always looking for hope.

  • Ms. Bergen is right: Older people are happier, more positive, have better emotional control, and are less concerned about peer pressure.
  • While rats develop 5,000 to 10,000 new hippocampal neurons every day, whether the neurons survive depends on whether the rats do challenging tasks (such as complex mazes or difficult discriminations).
  • Your brain improves nerve cell transmission with increased myelination though your fifties or sixties, and thus continues to develop.
  • In middle age, people start making more use of both sides of their brains (bilateralization).
  • With aging, people tend to place less value on achievement and novelty and more value on relationships and experiences.
  • Air traffic controllers, aged 53-64, perform as well as controllers aged 20-27 (Canadian controllers had to be used for the research, as U.S. controllers are required to retire at 55).
  • Since 1984, disability rates, as measured by the ability to perform activities of daily living, have been declining 1.5% to 2.5% a year. Thus, seniors are staying healthier longer.


Deb Shucka said...

It's nice to know the light shines brighter as we near the end of the tunnel.

Kathryn Grace said...

I'm laughing at Deb Shucka's comment, and yes, I totally agree with Bergen. Except for the dying part and the possibility of my knees giving way, everything else seems better and better. The bit about the older Canadian air traffic controllers? Encouraging in the main!

Mary'sCorner said...

Love Candice. Love Dr. Z. Let's hear it for older AND wiser!