How We Treat Older People
First, we have to take a look at how we treat the elderly. This is the springboard for the 1 way we can age in a more positive way. Our culture in America does not revere the old and respect their wisdom Instead, the focus is on our physical and mental decline The Yale School of Public Health conducted a study that proposes our well being is clearly a reflection of how we are treated in our culture The immersion of older people in a situation where they receive subliminal positive messages works better than conscious positive thinking and allows for better physical function.
How The Study Works
The study took a group of 100 people that fell within the age range of 60-99 years of age. Weekly for four weeks these individuals looked at flashing lights on a screen for a brief second and were asked to write an essay One group saw positive words about aging like “spry” and were asked to write something , but NOT about aging. Another group saw random letters and were asked to write a paragraph on growing older positively. A third group got both types of experiences and a fourth group was neutral. Three weeks after they were subjected to these stimuli, they were given medical tests to measure functionality. For example, how they managed getting up from a chair, and how long it took them to walk down a hallway. Also, they tested their image of older people.
What They Learned
The participants who had seen the positive words did better on both the physical and image testing.. Even better than those in another study who exercised for six months. Those who wrote a positive story about aging didn’t do as well. So, what do we do with these results? Can baby boomers create a new path for us as we grow older? How can we do this and have an impact? We have to be able to treat older people with more respect and see them as wise old sages. Do you think we will?