A Healthy Body Starts with a Happy Mind

Self-esteem and confidence issues are often associated with teenagers experiencing growing pains. However, seniors can also experience difficulty with their feelings of worth as they grow older. Studies have shown that self-esteem begins to decline in old age as people start to deal with retirement, empty nests, and health concerns.

Good self-esteem in seniors is important for both the body and the mind. In fact, a recent study  by Concordia University’s Center for Research in Human Development suggests that feelings of self-confidence and self-worth correlate to a lower incidence of health problems.

The study looked at 147 adults over the age of 60 and measured their self-esteem, cortisol, perceived stress levels, and any depressive symptoms they have had over a four-year period. The findings were that participants with lower self-esteem and a history of depression and stress had higher cortisol levels. Too much of the stress hormone, cortisol, can have negative side effects like weight gain, sleep problems, digestive issues, and even memory impairment.

One way seniors can maintain and improve their self-esteem is to socialize and prevent isolation, researchers suggested, as loneliness can be a major health concern in older adults. Another University of Chicago study suggests that loneliness can increase the chances of premature death by up to 14%. Health experts say older people can increase their self esteem by taking care of their health and appearance, spending time with friends and family, volunteering, and managing their free time. Please read our blog post about mental wellness for some suggestions on how to live life to the fullest with less stress and a positive attitude.

Part of mental and emotional well-being is having a plan in place for your future and for your loved ones. The greatest peace of mind comes with making sure your wishes are met and your loved ones are taken care of, especially if you should become incapacitated or need long-term care. If you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Long-Term Care Planning Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 in Fairfax or 540-479-1435 in Fredericksburg to make an appointment for an introductory consultation.

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.