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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Thursday, July 07, 2011

For many, emotional well being deepens with age.

Think you are happy now? According to the Gallup-Healthways well-being index, best emotional times come later in life. I would certainly agree with this finding.

The oldest group outscored the other three age groups in emotions, which was one of six categories measured in a massive study on well-being. Out of a possible score of 100, the 65-and-older age group scored 83. Those 45-64 had the lowest score, 76.

Credit experience, says Kay McCurdy, 72, of Springfield, Va. “You shift your idea of what a good life is into what you can have as a good life,” says McCurdy. “You get realistic. "

Elisabeth Burnett, 73, a neighbor of McCurdy’s at the Greenspring retirement home in the Washington, D.C. metro area, says that having a strong emotional life takes a hefty dose of true grit. Burnett has a daughter going through a divorce and has had to bury another grown child, yet she says she looks ahead with hope and joy.

“Today is the gift,” says Burnett. “I think that’s a kind of wisdom that comes with age that I may have had as a young person but I didn’t exercise as much as I do now.” Randy Weadon, 84, says honesty and discipline turned his sad life around. After going into diabetic shock one night and nearly dying, he started walking, lost 50 pounds and eventually got off insulin. He walks 7 miles a day to keep his weight down.

“I’m happier,” says Weadon, also a Greenspring resident. “I have a better opinion of myself, and just all in all I’m a new person.”

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post, Patricia. As I read it I am aware that this is the opportunity aging provides: namely, the chance to gain perspective. However, I would add that I've known people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who attained this kind of emotional well-being but usually only at a cost. Diagnosed with cancer myself at the age of 44, I've often said that there is nothing like getting a life-threatening illness to clear the head, priority-wise! Maybe what people with early diagnoses of such diseases and the aging have in common is that they have had to confront something about their own mortality. When they/we do, we have a chance to learn these lessons: that today IS a gift and that relationships matter more than anything else.

    Linda Watson


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