Positive Attitude Can Improve Senior Health

The relationships between aging and illness are sometimes subtle, but a positive attitude can go a long way toward good health in seniors.

"The aging process makes older people more susceptible to disease and more vulnerable to physical and mental stress," Wardlow said.

But unlike illness, aging is a natural part of life. It cannot be avoided but the effects can often be delayed or softened.

"Remaining active can ensure happiness in later life and a positive attitude is important,” Wardlow said. “People can develop that attitude by getting out and by being active, by forcing themselves to seize opportunities by practicing the keys to adapting."

Happiness and good health go hand-in-hand.

“It's not known precisely why the organs of the body begin to function less efficiently with age, but it shouldn't color all thought and action."

Often, when someone is forced into retirement, the person begins to feel that all kinds of activity are things of the past. That precipitates thinking and acting old.

"Probably more people worry about a decline in their intellectual abilities than about any other sort of decline," Wardlow said. "Intellectual ability is impaired chiefly when the circulation of blood to the brain is lowered to the point that the brain is deprived of oxygen."

Emotional health is a key ingredient to longevity,” Wardlow said.

Another factor can be dangerously low vitamin reserve. Plus, with some older people, there may be a decrease in motivation or interest and a narrowing of the outlook which makes it appear there has been some decline in their intellectual ability.

"Some older people find themselves moving in an unhappy circle after retirement,” Wardlow said. “Frustration frequently leads to depression, depression to loss of appetite, lost appetite to improper diet, improper diet to illness, and illness to further depression.”