Grumpy old men? Hardly, researchers say
"If you should survive to 105, look at all you'll derive out of being alive," goes the Frank Sinatra tune. Now, research is backing up that sentiment, as scientists report that people who live longer tend to have a more optimistic view toward life.
At the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Toronto this month, researchers discussed a number of studies showing that older adults have greater emotional control than younger people do, and have typically learned to limit their exposure to stressful situations. One presenter suggested that older adults are aware that the time they have left is limited, and therefore want to make the best of it, according to HealthDay News. General life experience may also have taught them to learn and understand the intentions of others, helping them avoid stressful situations, that same researcher said.
While most of the research presented on this topic did, in fact, show that mental health and happiness improve with age, researchers noted that there are exceptions to the rule. Elderly caregivers typically report high levels of stress. Likewise, the results of the various happiness studies may not apply to those with varying forms of dementia, according to researchers.